Northumberland Public Library had what its head librarian, Cherie Carl, called “a pivotal year” in 2017.
The library, located in Heathsville, added the third of what Carl calls its “three distinct pieces” when it’s “techmobile into service in October. The other two parts are the library itself and Ye Old Book Shoppe, Carl said Friday, but they make up an integrated whole that has put the library in the center of county life.
Big changes during 2017 included Carl’s coming aboard as director and Marilyn Smith as Children’s Librarian during the summer. Both hit the ground running. One of Carl’s immediate priorities was continuing the effort with Henderson United Methodist Church to secure a Jesse Ball DuPont grant for the library’s benefit. Carl’s predecessor, Alice Cooper had started the effort and Carl, along with the church saw it to fruition with a $25,000 grant earlier this month.
Getting the techmobile rolling was another priority. Starting with a used bookmobile from a Missouri library, Carl and the libraryuse it to ‘s staff and Board saw it entirely refurbished so it is more than an old time bookmobile. Carl noted that all of the refurbishing was done by local businesses such as Silco, Baughan’s Body Shop and Tiffany’s Yacht Company, which did the van’s interior. The techmobile has wireless internet capability, a scanner, copier, and printer so that people can use it it for all sorts of tasks beyond just borrowing books. At year’s end, Carl was working on the routes the van will travel though the county, she said.
In addition to Carl and Smith’s arrival, Bob Taylor took over operation of Ye Old Book Shoppe when Carol Keneflick retired as its manager. Opened in 2014, the shoppe, called “YOBS” for short, sells donated books and magazines as well as other items with its profits going to support the library. In its three years of operation, it has become self-sustaining. Some truly fascinating old books show up in donations.
In the course of 2017, the library’s website, Northumberlandpubliclibrary.org, had a complete re-do by the library’s IT person, Karen Whealan, with the help of Pam Hagy and her son, Izaak. It had 66,000
visits during the year. The library itself had 20,333 visitors, almost double the county’s population, and it put 32,000 items. into circulation.
For the full article pick up a copy of this weeks Northumberland Echo Newspaper 12/27/17