Fall 2009
A library’s circulatio n statistics are
not the only measures of how well
a library is serving its co mmunity,
but they are the most accessible
and provide the most empirical
data. Those of you who enjoy
numbers, keep reading!
In the past fiscal year (June 1, 2008—May 31, 2009) we circu-
lated 198,207 books, plus another 20,096 audio books and 4,887
magazines. (The great majority of our audio books are un-
abridged, and serve both the visually-impaired and those who are
driving, exercising or otherwise engaged in activities that don’t
permit reading but allow .readers. to hear every one of the au-
thors’ words.) This grand total of 223,184 conclusively demon-
strates that this well-educated and literate co mmunity still reads
and still values books, authors and ideas.
LPL also circulated 107,555 DVDs and videos—a respectable
number indeed. Unlike the gro wing number of libraries in West-
chester where circulation of media outpaced books, here books
held sway. Even when the number of music CDs circulated --
64,514 -- is added to the movie count, books are still the clear
Circulation to adults has always outstripped children’s materials,
but something amazing hap pened this year. Although the Chil-
dren’s Roo m was closed for renovation for 11 months of the
year, and although most of the children’s books were hibernating
in inaccessible off-premises storage, and although those books
we had were split among the three floors of the main library, the
number of children’s books circulated was within 5% of the pre-
vious year’s numbers. We circulated 68,446 children’s books
this year, versus 72,134 books the previous year, when the room
was open. Attendance at children’s programs increased 33%:
the actual number of children’s programs increased 22%.
The bottom line is that there was a 7% increase in circulation
over the previous year, and 64% of our community has active
library cards.
Reading— and the book--are not dead, at least, not here at the
Larchmont Public Library.
Many of you are quite familiar with the Friends of the Larch-
mont Public Library and all that this organization has accom-
plished since its inception 37 years ago. Others may be avid
users of the library and appreciative of the vital role it plays in
our community, but unaware, as was I until recently, of the es-
sential contributions made by the Friends. As a long-time resi-
dent who has raised three children in Larchmont, I have many
fond memories of our library – in particular, the Children’s
Room and those display cases for which everyone would impa-
tiently wait their turn to fill with one or another collection. I
would also borrow CDs, books on tape and DVDs, and attend
the library-sponsored programs on Sundays. But I was unaware,
until last year, that many of the things we all value about the
library are made possible only by the hard work and fundraising
done by the Friends.
My eyes were opened to the Friends when I was asked to join
the Board and, subsequently, succeed Stan Futterman as presi-
dent. My initial reaction was that Stan should remain as presi-
dent for life, since he seemed ideally suited to the job, but I soon
learned that the Friends rotate this positio n every two years and
his term was up. So I accepted the presidency of this worthy
organizatio n in the spirit of reaching out to those of you who,
like me, treasure all that the library brings to Larchmo nt, but are
unaware of the important contributions that the Friends make to
the library’s well -being.
How do we contribute. Most recognizable are the Sunday after-
noon programs which bring notable authors, musicians, per-
formers and other speakers to Larchmont. A sched ule of the fall
2009 programs can be found in this Newsletter and on the
Friends website at www.larchmo
. All performances
are free. In addition, the Friends have funded numerous pilot
projects which have now become established parts of the li-
brary’s operating budget, including DVDs, Express Books and
wireless connectivity for the public. The Friends also sponsor
many magazine subscriptions, and a book rack at the Larchmont
train station.
So how can you help. We welcome volunteers because all of
our activities do require a degree of volunteer person-power: the
Sunday programs; the Membership program; the Poetry Read
In; administering periodical sponsorships; publicity; financial
management; the Newsletter! We’re considering an FOL-
sponsored book sale and are seeking someone to spearhead that.
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