Library Update from Sean
Report to the Friends
It is with great sadness that I note that Traci Tingley, our 24 hour Senior Library Assistant, has accepted a position in Washougal. She will start there November 1st.
In September 10,950 items circulated. In 2021 10,405 items circulated. We gave out 62 cards.
We had a Hispanic Heritage book display up, a banned books week display of books up, and a nonfiction that reads like fiction display up.
We had books about birds on display in the children’s and adult areas of the library. In the kids area John set up bird scavenger hunt that run from September 15 to October 15. On the 15th I put out a spooky scavenger hunt for kids.
You may not have noticed but we moved our adult world language books to the top of the first adult nonfiction case as you enter from Mill St. This makes it much more visible and allowed us to wrap adult nonfiction around the last case making the whole area less tight and more attractive.
On September 28 we held a welcome back storytime with more than 50 attending. After this we started our regular schedule on Monday and Wednesday with between roughly 45 attending Monday and 35 attending on Wednesday.
The Dungeons & Dragons program continues to grow. We are making plans for guest game masters to help with overflow or if that doesn’t work then I’ll run a session.
We’ve started a Ridgefield Stringed Instrument jam program taking place once a month.
Words and Pictures was originally a program showcasing local authors and illustrators that took place at Cascade Park Library. This year programs tied to Words and Pictures are taking place across the District. I’m happy to report that Gretchen McClellan and Deb Cushman will be in Ridgefield October 29 at 11:00 a.m. for a program. I’m especially glad that Gretchen is coming as she was our chosen author for the Ridgefield Arts Experience which didn’t take place as everything closed down when COVID hit.
Thank you! I got the ball rolling and purchased a movie license for the branch that is valid now. For our first movie we plan on showing COCO on October 29 as a preview for Dia de los Muertos.
I will be attending the volunteer fair at Ridgefield High School October 26.
On October 29 Marilyn will represent the library at the Trunk or Treat.
On October 31 during downtown trick or treating the library will be a stop for candy.
Report to the Friends
August 2022 circulation was 11,952 compared to 11,628 for August 2021. In 2022 so far circulation has been 80,663 and comparing this to last year at the same point circulation was 50,910.
Thank you for your help in staffing both the Multicultural Festival and Experience Ridgefield. The library hosted a writing workshop led by the Poet Laureate of Clark County in conjunction with the Multicultural Festival.
The Teen Dungeons & Dragons program started September 6. We’ve done some readjusting of the schedule to make it fit the needs of the participants. Build It!, a LEGO program, started September 10. Spanish Conversation Circle is meeting in person. The Legacy Photo Workshop program’s September program had 8 participants! September 28 is our first welcome back storytime for families. After this we will hold a family storytime on Monday and Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. September 19 and September 27 we will be hosting volunteers for a Read to the Dog program.
The following groups are using meeting rooms: The Ridgefield Port Commision, which met September 14 when we were closed for an all day staff training; The Ridgefield Education Association, The Ridgefield Heritage Society, and the students and director of the upcoming Ridgefield High School theater production. At the end of October the YMCA plans to use our space.
We are exploring holding programs for Dia de los Muertos at the start of November. This would certainly include activities for children/families but we are also considering an ofrenda, an altar used to honor the dead (not religious). We want to be sure we are being culturally appropriate and reached out to Compassion 360 and Chris Poppert at the Family Resource Center to see if there is a family or an individual who can help guide us.
Report to the Friends
In July 11,605 items circulated. Last July 11,340 items circulated. More interesting to me is that in July we registered 111 new patrons for library cards.
Library staff went to National Night Out and The Back to School Blast. At both events we gave out free books. Marilyn reported to me that National Night Out was great fun. Thank you for your help. The button making machine was a hit at The Back to School Blast. In fact, I’m going to order one for the branch. I went to the Union Ridge Summer School carnival. In September we will be at The Multicultural Festival at Overlook Park with a booth and also be at Experience Ridgefield.
I led a tour of the library for one of the city’s Meet Me on Wednesday walks, and we had about 45 students from Union Ridge come to the library to look at books.
The branch’s 3-D printer arrived and John and Traci are our point people for certifying patrons. Here’s an example of what you can make with it. The next thing is to get the video game system in and working.
Report to the Friends
In June 11,159 items circulated, an increase of 161.98% over last June.
The Library’s Stitchery, Senior Adult Games, Spanish Conversation Circle, and Adult Book Discussion programs all restarted. Currently it looks like we can add more programs in September. At this point I’m not considering adding more adult programs, but will add a teen role-playing program led by John, our new SLA, and start up Read to the Dog again and maybe a LEGO program. In October we’ll most likely start story times up again.
The Library’s two meeting rooms are now open for the public to reserve, and groups like the Port of Ridgefield’s Commission and Union Ridge PTO are making use of the rooms besides community members leading painting sessions and learning to play harp from a master harpist in Ireland. Scheduling meeting rooms is completely new at this branch, but we’re figuring it out with our patrons.
In June we welcomed 24 classes of students from Union Ridge Elementary who came to the library to learn about Summer At Your Library. When sign-up occurs kids get to choose a free book to take home and keep. I don’t have firm numbers on how many kids have signed up, but I do know that we had to ask for more books for older students (middle school/high school) and for young children (preschool and babies).
The Bubble Festival was a success due to the tremendous work of the branch’s SLA's and volunteers. Attendance was 75 and people enjoyed this event including students from Union Ridge’s Summer Camp program.
Traci, Marilyn, and I met with Wendy Lehner with Compassion 360 and staff will be at their Back to School Bash.
On July 14 students from Union Ridge Elementary’s Summer Camp came to the library to build with LEGOS. I invited them to come down for our Bubble Festival and we plan on going to their carnival in August. July 27 staff will go to Union Ridge to promote Summer Reading to summer students. On August 5 staff will go to the Union Ridge Summer Camp carnival.
Traci went to the second Meals on Wheels program to promote the library and we’ll be doing this monthly.
I reported on library activities and Friends activities for the past year at the Library District’s Board meeting.
I volunteered to be the Heritage Society’s secretary and am keeping minutes. I’m pleased this group is meeting in the library and excited about an idea to digitize DVD recordings of past Old Timers’ Panels.
Report to the Friends
In May circulation was 9,498 an increase of 109.84% compared to May 2021.
As of the date of the Friends meeting, 39 classes have either visited or we’ve gone to visit them. I presented to virtually all of the students at South Ridge Elementary.
An instructor at the Clark county Genealogical Society called trying to find a certain issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly online. I worked with him for half an hour, not only finding the issue he needed, but also the article he wanted by using an online index.He shared his great experience with his students and boasted about my research prowess.
Students from Cedar Tree Classical Christian School filmed a telenovela, at least partly, in the library for the Spanish class at their school. It’s titled CNI Operacion Serpiente and episode 1 is available via Youtube. I love that the “Ridgefield Community Library” sign on Mill Street has been changed to Central Intelligence. We will be hosting Community Education’s Summer Camp students for a LEGO session at the beginning of July.
We were surprised when 65 people arrived for the Bookmark Contest celebration. We served cake, passed out certificates, and framed bookmarks to the branch winners. The ladies of the Stitchery Group are glad to be back and this program started successfully.
We will be holding our bubble festival at Davis Park directly before Battle Ground Park and Recreation Summer At the Playground session. The programs will overlap by half an hour as a way to lure participants to both programs.
I held a discussion with staff at the local Fish and Wildlife office about displaying 100 Junior Duck Art contest entries in the library. I figure we’ll use book cradles and if we run out we’ll get creative.
Traci, one of our SLAs, met with Wendy Lehner from Compassion 360.
Report to the Friends
In April we circulated 9221 items.
I feel a bit like the Ridgefield Library has become a revolving door. We hired John Utsler from Vancouver as our full-time SLA. At the same I’m sad to report that Leticia Chacon, the 24 hour PSA who is leaving at the end of the week to a position at the Mall Library.
We hosted our first class visit on April 26 (kindergartners from Cedar Tree). Since then we’ve booked 14 to 15 class visits by Union Ridge classes and we’ve ambitiously scheduled time at South Ridge in the hopes of
presenting to every class. Library staff will also go to Union Ridge’s Summer Camp and host the campers down here one day.
I attended and spoke at the Ridgefield Heritage Society meeting about the time capsule. They have been inventorying what the library is storing as a courtesy to community members and our own collection of historical materials. For instance did you know that we have two books from Frank Gilbert’s, personal collection which were donated to the Priscilla Club when they formed a library?
I did finish up a storywalk, which is all around you, which I had done in partnership with the elementary school librarians. My storywalk went up at Davis Park First Saturday in May. We also gave flowers to children first come, first served that day and had an art bar in the library.
We plan on honoring our bookmark contest honorees and winners at a small event on May 31st where we will serve cake, hand out certificates, and for the winners framed bookmarks, but as Friends members you get a
sneak peak. It was a surprise to me that Ridgefield had a Grand Prize Winner at the high school level since we had no high school entries submitted at this branch (Other branches could receive entries from patrons who choose a different home branch, and we judge by home branch not where the entry was received). Since we had no high school entries I didn’t bother looking at the winning bookmark for that category.
Traci Tingley created a fairy house craft using paperbooks that had been donated to the Friends, and a pinata craft for Cinco de Mayo which parents have been raving about.
We’re gearing up for a busy summer with plans for a bubble festival, programming, and Summer Learning taking place. The District has sent us Field Guides to Activities and Fun as well as Cryptid cards. Anyone wonder what a cryptid is?
Report to the Friends
In March we welcomed a new employee. Traci Tingley to the branch. Traci is a senior library assistant meaning her focus is on programming. In fact, already she has planned a passive mystery program, both for adults and children, for the First Saturday in April. Becky, the branch’s other SLA prepared a St. Patrick’s craft for children and staffed an Art Bar outside our doors on March 5. We also put out an unfinished puzzle on top of one of the nonfiction cases for patrons to work on, and unlocked the doors on the Main Avenue side of the library,.
March 12 the District ended the mask requirement to be in the library. Patrons can now come in without masks, staff are not required to wear masks, and we are allowing food and drink in designated areas.
The District is planning to bring limited adult programming back starting in late Spring or early Summer.
Circulation was 8,164 in February. In 2021 we circulated 5200 items.
You may have noticed the bookmarks on display throughout the library. Ridgefield had over 1300 entries, primarily because of the enthusiasm of Jubilee Roth and Emily Crawford, the librarians at the elementary school. Once again, Ridgefield had more entries than any other library in the District. This is welcome even though we had too be creative when it came to hanging them. All bookmarks will be off the wall by April 9th in order to leave a blank canvas for the Watercolor Society’s juried art show.
The Arts Experience is March 22 at 7:00 p.m. and you’re all invited. Three poets, including the Poet Laureate of Clark County, wrote poems for this Experience, and will be at this program.
The 3D printer, which was funded by IQ Credit Union, is at District HQ, and will be coming here soon.
I’m working with the District’s Facilities department and IT department to site an exterior access point for wifi outside the building which is weak.
I’ve started an inventory of historic materials held by the library.
Report to the Friends
People checked out 9259 items from the library last month.
We’ve hired a new SLA at the branch. Traci Tingley is highly creative and highly experienced and she’ll work 24 hours a week. She starts March 1 and her most recent position was in Washougal.
I met with the Ridgefield School District librarians to discuss Storywalks. A storywalk is a kit that contains a story mounted on yard signs that is set-up outside that people stroll through, like a self-serve storytime. The school librarians are going to develop one kit, and Ridgefield Library will develop one kit. We have permission from the City to put one out at Overlook Park and the other at Davis Park for a week.
Youth Art Month is March. Library staff will be at iOverlook Park First Saturday in March with the City of Ridgefield. We will most likely bring an Art Bar.
I met with Armin Tolentino and Christoper Luna, current and past Poet Laureates of Clark County to plan their portion of the Ridgefield Arts Experience. The poets will craft poems while Carla Kendall-Bray will work with participants who will interpret the poems in dance. Remember that students in the Arts Experience don’t know what they will be doing year to year, that the Arts Experience only lasts from 3:30 to 7:00 p.m., and that it culminates in the public performance. This year it is March 22 either at Union Ridge or at South Ridge and you are all invited.
I met with a group whose interest is local history. This group has ambitious goals: do professional video recordings of long time residents memories of their life in Ridgefield; collect all historical material in one place; and perhaps in the future hand new home owners in Downtown a packet containing information on the families that had previously lived in their house.
I met with Joylynn Woodward from the Southwest Watercolor Society to discuss their juried show in April.
Staff prepared a Valentine’s Day card take and make craft as well as a Year of the Tiger display.
I posted about our Black History month display on the page of a Facebook group and it gathered 98 likes over the course of several days.
Report to the Friends
I’m changing my reports with the New Year focusing on highlights rather than a more comprehensive report detailing all we do. Besides some what I previously reported was the same month to month.
The biggest news is that Marilyn Abbink was hired as the new Supervisor in Training for Ridgefield. Her first day was January 3. Marilyn has worked for the District for 14 years most recently in Telephone Information. During our move from the temporary location, Marilyn actually took on extra hours to help us ready the branch for opening. Staff like her and I’m glad she took the position. Next we need to fill her position. With Marilyn on board my schedule has changed. I now work Monday through Friday. I’m committed though to be at the Saturday meetings.
December circulation was 9311. For 2021 we circulated 89,857 items. Compared to 2020 circulation increased by 98.21%.
We counted 550 people who came into the library during Hometown.
The Take and Make wreath program went very well. 55 people took wreath rings and greenery. I had planned to just hold this on Friday, but there was so much greenery left that I decided to run it into Saturday. Saturday evening a woman stopped by and donated ribbon and cut holly and asked if we could run it into Sunday. I was agreeable and was delighted to see most supplies gone when I came to work on Tuesday.
I’ve been kept busy drafting a new COVID contingency plan for the branch, more a guide on where to find things and how to operate the branch assuming no regular staff were available. I also drafted 4 quarterly appraisals in the latter part of December.
You’ll remember that I wanted to purchase a time capsule? I’ve talked with Marilyn and Becky and we’re all excited to move forward with this. I have some items I want to add and we plan on inviting library patrons to create something to include. My question is are there things the Friends want to include? Keep in mind that the interior space is kinda’ limited. When I think about this as I write this report my mind goes to the Timeline of Friends activities to raise money for the library, but this doesn’t necessarily have to go in. You may want to add other items.
Since you all are talking about goals I wanted to share a couple of my quarterly goals with you. At one point when we were in the old library my daughter volunteered to fulfill a school requirement and Lois kindly took the time to work with her on processing magazines. Cora asked me afterwards if I knew how to do this. I told her I could probably figure it out, but I’d be slow. She asked me how I could be the manager if I didn’t know how to do all the tasks in the library. I told her that as a manager I delegate and I don’t necessarily need to know how to do all the tasks at the library. With Lois gone it was kind of a shock to suddenly be doing deposit (She did walk me through one deposit, but there’s a lot of pieces). So one of my goals is to process magazines with Anne-Laure, who does this regularly, and to order supplies with Leticia. It’s not that I need to be an expert at these tasks, but people do sometimes move to other positions and being in the middle of a pandemic cross-training is a worthy thing to do.
My other goal grew out of a comment from my 360 review, “Sean may lean towards the benefit of the community while making life a little harder for staff unintentionally.” My goal is to more closely balance the stakeholders I interact with.
Report to the Friends
No circulation numbers for October have been reported yet. **
The hiring process for the branch supervisor has slowed down. The job was posted November 11, when we had originally planned to do interviews. Potential new interview dates have not been shared yet.
The Trunk of Treat event was a lot of fun and we spoke with a lot of new families. We gave out 125 books and gave out 350 pieces of candy. Marilyn and I are already making plans of how we can improve for next year.
Even if the Trunk or Treat doesn’t take place we could use the same plan for the Downtown Trick or Treat. We gave out over 175 pieces of candy to children in costumes who stopped by the library.
I had two left-over bags of candy and gave one for you to use on Make A Difference Day. I’m using the last bag with a rough group of tweens to create a positive relationship before we start to educate this group on behavior in the library (for instance, no pretend choking).
I’m still leading virtual Pathfinder on Friday afternoons.
Staff are getting a craft ready for Hometown. We put together 150 take and make crafts for children.
On Friday December 10 the library will put out materials for a take and make wreath. I’ll be up early to cut greenery (and bring some with me). Last year 75 people took materials which was more than ever came for the in-house program probably because this runs from ten until supplies run out.
Every month we’ll have a new display of books, highlighting on top of the first nonfiction case as you enter the library. This month is Native American Heritage Month and though sometimes it’s hard to tell if people are taking books we’ve seen good circulation of these items.
All staff will be getting four hours of Equity Training at different times in the next few months
The District is going to install motorized blinds on the interior of the clerestory windows, two more wireless ports (one in the staff area and one that will be outside), and if you happened to look at our books on display throughout the collection you’ll notice they are presented nicely now due to new wire book cradles.
I have a figure for October's circulation 9.897 which isn't bad.
Interestingly if today was any hint of what we can expect over winter break we are going to be quite busy. It sure feels like today has been the busiest day of the month. We've had a group of 8th graders cycling through three or four times and heavy shelving all day and given out 10+ library cards. Personally I love it like this-I won't need to walk tonight and I'd sure rather be busy, but being short three people has sure made it hop.
Report to the Friends
Of course the big news is that Lois took a position at the Stevenson Library. We are going to hire a “Supervisor in Training” and are planning on interviewing November 10 and November 11 with a tentative start date of December 1st.
In September the branch circulated 10,405 items. In 2020 we circulated 5,263 items.
The Library staffed a table at the Halloween Hall, put on by the Ridgefield Art Association, with mystery boxes and take and make elsewhere lollipop ghost kits. On October 29 the library will be participating in the Downtown Trick or Treat event. On October 30 I’ll take my car and several bags of candy to the Trunk or Treat event at the RORC from 6:30-8:00 p.m. along with mystery boxes and books to give out.
Katie Lightheart has been bringing in school age kids to play chess on Saturdays. Last Saturday she had called to say she would be coming with 10 kids and 23 ended up playing chess throughout the library. My hope is that this is a program that can be folded into library programs so the library can provide better support.
I had a call from Jean Hague with the Washington Watercolor Society. Tentatively they are planning on having a juried show from April 9, 2022 to April 30, 2022 on display in the library. I felt comfortable scheduling this as we are most likely going to begin programming for adults in early spring of 2022. Of course this is dependent on COVID, but that the District is having conversations about programming is a good thing. I feel like in Ridgefield the library could begin adult book discussion, the Spanish Conversation Circle (after checking in with the volunteer who leads it), the Stitching and Spinning program (I get email from this group about every 2 weeks wanting to know if the library can host this program again), gaming for mature adults and possibly a family history type program. The library has the physical capacity to do this and because these programs are really community driven staffing for us is light.
Staff at Three Creeks Library shared a great scavenger hunt idea which I adopted by quickly putting up 10 Halloween images (Think a bat, a black cat, a haunted house, a ghost etc) in various places in the children’s area. If children could find 5 of the images they got a prize. If they found 10 they got bragging rights. They could ask for hints and most often needed help finding the bat. Can you guess why? Bats like to sleep upside down so I put the bat underneath a bookshelf on the juvenile fiction case.
I’m still leading virtual Pathfinder except it’s on Friday now until 6:30 p.m. Christine Olson comes in weekly to lead a virtual Spanish Conversation Circle.
I also did a good deed in October. A woman had come in to use the professional level scanner to scan photographs and then negatives. She needed help which I gave her, but neither of us were satisfied with the scans of the negatives. I emailed the scans to her and she forgot to take her USB drive which had her book on it. She said I could mail the USB drive to her, but she had her whole book on it. What if it got lost? Or smashed? Or she didn’t have another copy of her book? Instead I drove to east Vancouver and delivered her USB drive to her in person. Later I figured out what had gone wrong with scanning the negatives and drove back to pick up the negatives for scanning and then a couple of days later dropped them off. Surely most patrons won’t get this level of service (or need it) and for sure I felt responsible for doing these scans correctly, but I also recognize when I do a good thing.
Report to the Friends
The BIG news is that circulation is holding steady at over 11,000. In fact when I first looked I assumed that the July figure had migrated into August, and then I realized that the August figure was actually 300 higher than July. And we haven’t even hit our stride yet as we aren’t offering programs like story time or other activities to draw people in.
We had a count of 2763 People in the library for August, which averages to 106 persons per day. There were 10 curbside requests for the month. National Night Out we counted 263 people. We had two teens sign up for volunteering. Christine Olson is back to actively volunteering for us, leading a virtual Spanish Conversation Circle from the library on Saturday. She put in 6:45 hours for us in September.
The Library joined you at the Multicultural Festival (Thank you for sharing your space) and at Experience Ridgefield. I can’t speak for Becky, but I thoroughly enjoyed Experience Ridgefield. It was great to be doing something we would normally do; especially since we are not programming yet.
I’m still leading virtual Pathfinder every Wednesday though we’re considering moving to Friday for this program. Like most gaming programs I’ve led I have the same group of kids every week, and most have been involved with this program since early this year. I’ve proctored two exams this week.
Our study room is proving to be quite popular. Virtually no one has realized they can reserve it online, but virtually everyday we have two separate small groups using it.
The Art Association delivered postcards to us, pre-stamped, for patrons to take to send a card to whoever they might like to. I had a bunch of identical cards that I thought could be used for the same purpose. When I emailed Patricia Thompson to let her know about the cards she actually went straight to the Post Office and bought two books of stamps for us to give to patrons wanting to send a quick note.
Maureen O’Reilly with the Art Association said they want to purchase more of the cables used to hang art on the display system inside the library. I plan on being at the Haunted Hall the evenings of October 15 and 16 to promote library services and offer a grab and go type craft.
We’re hosting a moderator for a virtual Spanish Conversation Circle program on Saturday by providing space for her and use of a laptop.
We’re hosting the professional level scanner that the District purchased using grant money from the Washington Rural Heritage Project. We used this to scan historical photographs which went to the Washington Rural Heritage website hosted by the State Library, and now it is available to patrons.
Regrettably we’ve had two incidents with patrons who refused to wear masks. We did call the police to assist us with one patron who was trespassed from all District Libraries for a month and we were on the verge of calling the police on a second person who actually brought her children along. We’ve had more discussions with people about putting on a mask, but these haven’t risen to the level of an incident though I did get called a communist by one person. This has been tough on staff, but we are using humor directly afterwards to reduce stress. As I told staff if she had called me a socialist I might have taken it as a compliment.
Report to the Friends
In July 3179 people came to the branch. Lois was so shocked by this number that she repeated her math several times.
Patrons did check out 11,346 items. In a normal July patrons would check out roughly 5000 items from the old library. Staff are keeping up with the shelving.
Staff shared that the workflow has become familiar and the system Lois and I set-up is working. We’ve moved from logistical challenges to patron challenges, and as a staff are figuring out how to respond to these.
I attended the August Library Board meeting and reported to the Board in spite of technical difficulties at the last minute.
Becky enjoyed her time with you at National Night Out. We’re preparing for Experience Ridgefield. Becky will be with you in the morning and I’ll be with you later in the day.
I’m reminded again about how small the world is. I’m still leading the virtual Pathfinder program for the District. I discovered that one of the moms was my daughter’s dance instructor for a couple of years starting when Cora was in preschool.
It’s been nice to see the teens return for pen and paper gaming in the study room. One of them told me that he’s running another game outside of the library with some of the first people to join the program, now adults. I doubt they would have ever met one another and been friends except for this program.
On July 29 library staff were instructed to wear masks again. On August 18 patrons were required to wear masks inside the library and patrons were not allowed to consume food or drink inside the library.
Tourists from other library systems, like Multnomah County, have stopped in to walk through the branch and talk with staff. That’s wonderful.
Report to the Friends
My report is quite short this month.
Thank you for all your time, energy, and creativity for the Grand Opening. That morning someone told me a grand opening is like a wedding. You have to expect something to go wrong, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter. From my perspective it was a success. I can also pass on what I heard from Sherry Braga. She said this was one of the smoothest grand openings she’s been to and had some of the best activities for kids to enjoy. At the library we gave out 43 library cards on Friday, another 20 on Saturday, and more on Monday. We also checked out a lot of items on Friday. And we’ve had lots of questions about use of the meeting room.
Being open without capacity limits and keeping track of how long patrons are in the library is wonderful. I’m looking out my office window into the childrens’ area right now and there are three moms pulling books and 1 sitting where the wall mounted kids’ enrichment tools are with three little ones playing with these amidst a lot of excited chatter. Over the last couple of days we’ve had 4 people in using laptops and staying for long periods of time.
This beats being closed for five days due to the discovery of a crushed sewer pipe. I honestly can tell you never did I dream that I would see wheelbarrows going by my office window full of liquid concrete to fill in a two foot hole in the floor.
And I’ve had several more people come in with ideas for programs from running a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons program to starting a program on family history and organizing family photos to a weekly card and dice game program for mature adults. That’s the one I’m most excited about. Although progrmming staff haven’t sat down for a meeting yet I’m mapping out a tentative calendar.
REPORT TO THE FRIENDS
In the latter part of May we filled our last new position and hired Leticia as a 24 hour PSA. She’ll start June 17.
We began moving non-critical items over towards the end of May. Marilyn our new 24 hour SLA would win a gold medal in any sort of endurance competition involving moving things. She even came in for extra hours on one of her days off to help us. By Saturday June 5 it seemed that all that remained were the tables which I brought over.
During this time we also had over 200 boxes of books arrive that needed shelving. I am convinced that Jan who leads the Collection Development Department would win in any speed shelving contest. She managed to shelve 100 boxes of adult fiction in one long day. Not only that, but as we interfiled our adult fiction it all fit perfectly!
John, one of the couriers, spent portions of three afternoons with us after he had finished his route helping us move stuff, but also helping with shelving. I can’t tell you how happy I was at the end of that first long day when he told me he had moved all the empty boxes from the new library to the temporary location.
I also returned from lunch one day last week to find that Anne-Laure had shelved all of the magazines. This was important because we weren’t sure how many we could actually fit on the shelves neatly and we only have 4 titles remaining.
All shelving is complete. Excess books are being sent elsewhere. We’re getting very close to having the staff areas organized. Our goal was to open to the public by June 21st and I feel confident that we can meet that goal. We decided as a staff that when we open we will allow up to 24 people in at a time. Starting July 1st people who are vaccinated and children will be allowed in without masks though we will not be asking people’s vaccination status. Staff will continue to wear masks.
The Library District’s Facilities Department and the contractor are still fixing some items (like a leaky pipe in the staff bathroom), IT still needs to install our new catalog computers, the key card system isn’t live at this point, but I noticed this morning that all of the doors have door knobs now. I expect these little things will be taken care of as they crop up and as other departments are able.
The RCCA board toured the new branch on Friday May 28. Staff are feeling comfortable enough with people in the building that they’ve been letting in parents who come by with children and end up peering through the windows just to see the place.
I’ve still been able to lead Wednesday’s Pathfinder program.
I also had a conversation with a patron who wanted to reserve the large multiuse room for a music jam meeting taking place monthly. I suggested making this a library program so the room could be reserved for the same day and time several months ahead.
REPORT TO THE FRIENDS
We are saying goodbye to Kathlleen Mintz who is moving to a full-time position at Three Creeks Community Library. Marilyn Abbink from Vancouver Community Library is our new 24 hour Senior Library Assistant. We have hired a full-time Senior Library Assistant, Becky Netherada.
The Library District is offering Limited In Branch Services. People can come into the library to browse up to our capacity which is 1 unless it’s a couple or parent with small children. Starting June 7 our capacity will be 12 as we will be in the new location. We will do away with our closure from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and our closure for the last 15 minutes of every hour. We will also have Internet workstations which people can use. On June 7 we will begin offering curbside services until 6:00 p.m. and Limited in Branch Services also until 6:00 p.m. People will be allowed in the branch for a full hour. Generally chairs will not be available and we will be removing the cushions from the window seats.
Interlibrary Loan opened back up May 1st with some limitations.
The May Experience Kit was Go Art Yourself and arrived May 15. The Library also distributed a calligraphy kit tied to a program offered through the library district by the Oregon Hope Chinese School to celebrate the Year of the Ox.
Summer Reading starts June 15 and will be virtual.
We will be closed June 3-5 as we move from the temporary location to the new location. Curbside pick-up will not be available during this time. We will offer curbside service starting June 7. Our soft opening date has moved to June 21. We’ve started moving items over to the new building.
I had an email from a woman who coordinates the Stitchery group that stopped meeting when the library closed due to COVID. She wanted to know when this program could start back up. It’s going to be awhile, but I was excited to hear from her.
Building Project Updates
The big news in April was the fence coming down and what a difference that made.
Since then much more has happened.
The parking area behind the library was refreshed with new asphalt and parking stripes were added.
The sliding glass door between the library proper and the Community Meeting Room has been installed. I’m pleased that it’s easy to open and close.
Almost all furniture has been delivered and put together. I had emailed Amelia telling her how much I liked the cushions on the window seats and purposefully didn’t send her a photograph so she’d be surprised. She emailed back that she had set them out the Friday before. The break room and kitchenette have full-sized refrigerators.
The copier/printer arrived. 4 Internet workstations were delivered. Staff computers were set-up. The network connection was set-up on the 18th.
Facilities staff delivered 220 boxes of books for the branch, and Jan Johnston, who is the lead for Collection Development and I shelved these over 2 days. I’m convinced that Jan would win any speed shelving contest. And over the next week more books will be coming on top of what we have at the temporary location.
Still to come are flat screen TVs, a video game system, and a projector in the large meeting room.
I’ve realized two things. First, I’m challenging staff to add color and character to the break room though Patricia Thompson with the Art Association has offered to let us borrow paintings.
The second thing is that it will take a while for staff to feel like the new building is their space. Early on I felt a little like I was trespassing almost. Now that I’ve put my files in my office there’s no issues for me. But it will be an adjustment for staff who haven’t been inside as much as I have.
REPORT TO THE FRIENDS
Thank you for the generous gift of the Keurig. The coffee, tea, and hot chocolate drinkers at the branch will make good use of it. And for the generous offer to purchase a water filter and have it ijnstalled.
The most exciting news is that on Monday April 12 the first two patrons in over a year came into the library to browse the collection. The library had a soft opening on April 12 for patrons to use the library to browse either by making an appointment or via walk-up. We’re limited to 1 to 2 people for a half hour visit. Promotion starts April 19 and we’re looking forward to welcoming more patrons into the library.
We have 4 Chromebooks available for patrons to check out and use outside the library.
We had a Curbside service count of 587 for this month and we handed out 205 Experience Kits/Curbside Crafts. Chris Poppert from the Family Resource Center did not pick up craft kits we had set aside for her so our count of kits handed out is a little down.
Kathlleen and Lois are like the dynamic duo of crafts! Kathlleen had kids saying “April Fish!” instead of “April Fools” on April 1st with her craft kit containing a cut out fish and instructions stating that in France on April 1st it is a tradition to stick paper fish on other people as a joke.
Lois pulled together a poetry collage craft since April is National Poetry Month.
The District has posted the two new positions at the Ridgefield Library which are a new 24 hour SLA (like Kathlleen) and a new 24 hour PSA (like Anne-Laure). We’re tentatively planning to move June 3rd-June 5th from the temporary library to the new location and hoping to have new staff onboard the 3rd week in May.
Shelving is up in the new location except for in the kids’ area where carpet needs to be installed. Paving took place Tuesday in the alley area and striping will take place next Monday. The glass slider between the main library and the community room should be installed next week. Planters and the bike rack are on order, and an order for benches will be sent in presently. The hearing loop is installed, but until the AV equipment is installed-which will be in early June-this installation is not complete.
Proofs using the historic photos as images on the windows have been received and reviewed. The final signage order is being reviewed. Photos from the Chinook tribe for windows in the children’s area have been received. We hope to have photos from the Cowlitz tribe up in the kid’s area also.
On Friday we’re meeting with the company putting the donor boards together.
REPORT TO THE FRIENDS
On April 12 Ridgefield Library will open for Library Beyond 5 services including checking out Chromebooks for people to use outside for up to 2 hours (The Library has no public Internet stations). The library will also open up to allow people to browse. People will be able to make appointments for up to half an hour every hour (Library staff will clean between patrons). If an appointment time is not full we will take a walkup patron.
In February a total of 226 crafts were given out. 158 were curbside crafts that were planned and prepared here. 68 were experience kits that were planned for the entire district by Jamie Baer, but put together by Kathlleen. Of these, 30 went with Chris Poppert to the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.
Our curbside service count for this month was 538. Considering that we were closed for 3 days due to a Holiday and snow, dividing that number by the 21 days we did work, we averaged service to 25 people daily.
Lois put together a collage craft kit for First Saturday/Youth Art Month including poster board and images from magazines. She included an invitation for patrons to return their completed collage and we’ll hang them in the library like we did with the snowflakes. After these were exhausted she put out a pinecone bird feeder craft kit, and once these were gone Kathileen put out an Experience Kit centered on weaving.
Lois led a Virtual Teen Book Discussion at the end of last month.
Kathlleen is moderator for an English Conversation Circle and hosts a virtual Craft ‘n Chat program at the beginning of the month.
I continue to lead a Virtual gaming program every Wednesday. Players now include a 4th grade girl who enjoyed her first session of this program so much that she had her parents buy the First Edition Core Rule Book.
We will not be presenting the Ridgefield Arts Experience this year.
I’m glad to report that Ridgefield will have a collection of 15-20 titles in French and geared for students in Middle School, including a couple of copies of The Little Prince.
The District is distributing Teen Library Loot boxes that contain a book, a snack, a creative activity and a calendar of events. These go to teens who sign up through the website.
I am beginning to put together a plan for how to serve patrons if we are still operating under the same COVID related constraints-that is limited entry and limited computer use. This planning is easier with the welcome news that we will have 2-24 hour positions open.
Ridgefield Building Project Update
The contractor has indicated a finish date of May 11. Probably early April for furniture installation. We do not have a move in date.
I was in the building today. Most of the carpet is installed.The planks of green, blue and orange give the mostly grey-toned carpet punch. All lights are up. The service desk area is finished (We’re talking quartz tops). The display case in the Community Meeting Room is finished. All the window seats are installed, and they all have cubbies. The self-serve tech counter is up (This is the one that overlooks Davis Park). Glass doors from the Main Avenue vestibule and the Mill St. vestibule into the library are installed. The partition between the library and the Community Meeting Room is not installed yet and workers were installing floor cove. This is going to be a knock-out library to echo what the contractor said and what I know.
While I was there. I took a long look at the Friends cabinet today and later we’ll need to figure out money containment through the deposit slot-using a metal locking box like before will not work. An open metal container or any sort of small box will work. The cabinet is locking so this area is secure. Opening the door with the payment slot will require kneeling down to let the release for the door lose.
We are still reviewing the sign package. The photographs for the historic images on the windows project have been selected. We are reviewing information on the donor boards.
Amelia and I went to see the bronze eagle today and have asked our Facilities Department to see if it can be hung in the Main Avenue vestibule.
Last week I ordered flags for the Community Room. This week I’m ordering new book carts.