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Library Talk – December 28, 2017


Library Talk December 28th, 2017

Last column of the year.

2017—hmmm. Probably the biggest (in size!) milestone was that the annex finally truly opened (not quite finished yet, but fully functional), and we’ve had wedding receptions, art shows, book sales, Magic Santa, several music jams, programs on floods and more. I never thought having 100+ people in a room would look, well, not overwhelming as it did in the library meeting room.  Thanks for your patience as we slowly renovated the building.  2018 should see movie nights, more programs and even more use of the building for a wide variety of events.

2017 will close out with a significant change at Ripley, with the retirement of Patty Fithen who has been here for 30 years.  We’ll miss Patty behind the children’s desk, (and at Russellville on Fridays, and in the meeting room with glue, glitter and tiny tots!) but there is nothing as constant as change, so stay tuned for the new guard, and we hope for your support and encouragement in the coming year as we decide what direction to take heading into the future.

One of my least favorite tasks is weeding materials. (I’m not very good at cleaning out closets either)—every book and movie, magazine and audio book was once carefully selected for the collection, and to now decide that it needs to be discarded isn’t always easy, but we have a finite amount of space while continuing to purchase new materials. One of the ‘blessings’ of automation is I can run a list of items that haven’t been checked out for a while, and with over 220 libraries that can see and borrow our material, if an item hasn’t moved for years here or out in the system,  I have to consider letting it go. Now this doesn’t mean an old book doesn’t get to stay—some of our older fiction checks out regularly on the system, but some books that were very popular when first published 10 years ago are now just gathering dust. This means many, but not all, VHS tapes are going out the door, some DVDs  are showing their age and underwhelming popularity, there are several audiobooks haven’t circulated for quite some time, and the big push will be the adult fiction that will take a hit in early 2018.  If the items are in good condition, they will probably be boxed up for the next Friends book sale, or if a good ‘home’ can be found and save them from recycling.

Happy New Year to all, and I hope our libraries will be part of your 2018 routine, as we strive to continue to offer both new and classic library services for everyone.