Submitted by Catherine Redden, Library Director
2005 was the year of THE DECISION. The Lane Memorial Library Board of Trustees has spent the last few years researching long term options for the library facility. Using donated memorial funds, they hired local consensus building consultants, conducted a town survey of library use, worked with the staff to establish a long range plan for the library, and finally hired one of the foremost library consultants in the nation to review the materials to date and define their options. In September the Board reviewed all the input, looked at pros and cons of all options, and finally voted to plan for a new building 7 - 10 years down the road. The three options were to leave the building as is; undergo a renovation of the infrastructure and some cosmetic changes to the first floor; or plan for a new building. Option one meant doing only essential maintenance and cosmetic changes. Option two would have been close to a million dollars and would not have resulted in any more viable space, making it difficult to justify asking for more money for more space in another five years or so. The third option seemed the most fiscally prudent, given the number of projects appearing before the town in the near future. It allowed time for complete plans and time for the Friends of the Library to do fundraising. In the meantime, the repairs to the existing building will continue. The leaking roof on the original building was replaced along with all new gutters. Now that the roof leaks are repaired, the three original rooms are being patched and painted and the remainder of the library is receiving a fresh coat of paint, the first in twenty years! The new accessible entrance doors have been contracted for and should be installed by the time you read this.
During 2005 the Lane Memorial Library continued a busy year, circulating 146,901 items, in over 142,295 visits by residents and visitors to the library. We loaned 1,351 items out to other NH libraries and borrowed 647 items for Hampton residents. We registered 1,187 new patrons. Computers were used by the public 27,320 times.
Adult Services' Supervisor, Jeanne Gamage, left us in March to return to work in Maine; she was replaced by Darrell Eifert of Hampton. Looking at the facility and services with new eyes, he has instituted several changes resulting in better access to materials. A new software system by a local programmer was installed to facilitate computer sign-ups and proved very successful through the busy summer season when we have many seasonal visitors communicating with family and friends through our computers.
Children's Services saw Shelby Edwards leave in January to help her husband with the horses and to start a family. We were fortunate to hire Cheryl French who assists in the Children's Room and has taken over the teen duties as well. She has book groups, homework help, a literary newsletter and a new Teen Advisory Board underway. December saw Cindy Stosse accepting a job as Director/Children's Librarian in Pembroke. Not only can they pay her more than we can, but Pembroke is closer to her home in Concord. We are extremely sad to see her leave, but congratulate her on her career advancement! We start the new year with a search to fill her position.
Reference Services continues to upgrade the nonfiction collection and to find those elusive materials which people need but that we don't own by using the state-wide interlibrary loan network.
Technical Services continues to maintain the computer network and catalog all the new materials for the library. Thanks to a suggestion from a patron, we were able to install wireless access for under $100; it was an instant hit and not only do many people bring their own laptops to the library to work in comfort, but people can also be seen working in their cars outside the library at all hours of the day!
The Friends of the Library under the leadership of President Linda Libby for the first part of the year, and now under newly elected President Diane Keyes are a dynamic vital group and will take on more fundraising as the Board of Trustees goes forward with their planning for a new building.
Trustees: The Board, Sara Casassa, Bob Frese, Judy Geller, Mary Lou Heran and Bridgit Valgenti are assisted by Alternates Dot Gooby and Linda Sadlock.