VZC Library sees busy year



Following a presentation by Van Zandt County Librarian Susie Pulley, the VZC Commissioners Court approved the annual library report May 2.

VZC Pct. 2 Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. presided over the meeting in the absence of VZC Judge Don Kirkpatrick, who was out of town at a judicial meeting.

The report presented by Pulley covered the time period from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017.

“This report has been turned into the state and we have received our accreditation letter,” pointed out Pulley. “This report is a synopsis of an overall 47-page report we turned into the state. What you have is what I believe is the most important information on how we are doing at the library.”

Pulley  discussed some of the highlights of the report. “We actually circulated 3,000 more adult books than we did the previous year,” said Pulley. “I had been thinking all along that our circulation was going down but it has not. I know that our computer usage is up. We also had 20 more programs this year with over 500 more in attendance. Our Master Gardeners library skills program has been a big help to us.. This year, we had 54 different volunteers that worked compared to 24 last year but that 54 worked 1,767 hours compared to the 24 volunteers that worked 2,122 hours. As I have told you repeatedly, it is getting harder to rely on volunteers. Our Wi-Fi usage has almost doubled. Our parking lot stays busy.”

According to the annual report, from October 2016 through September 2017, the state assigned service population of VZC was 18,930 and the number of active patrons which included those who have used the library at least once in the last three years totaled 11,062.

Print materials expenditures totaled as follows: VZC, $9,338; Friends of the Library, $6.258; and audio and DVD expenditures, $720.

Operating expenses, including supplies, repair, computers, maintenance of the facility, databases, etc. totaled as follows: VZC, $9,746; City of Canton, $10,712; and Friends of the Library, $3,270.

The total operating budget of the library was $40,044, according to the annual report submitted by Pulley.

The staff budget totaled $98,517 including three staff salaries, $70,955, and employee benefits, $27,562.

Statistics on materials included the following: books in print, 33,251; audio books, 982; and audio and VHS, 1,098. The collection total was 35,331.

There were 67 online databases, 20 magazine subscriptions and seven newspaper subscriptions, according to the report.

The circulation statistics were as follows: children’s books, 13,252; young adult, 1,425; adult books, 27,724; DVD and VHS, 3,064; and audio books and CD’s, 1,429.

Other statistics showed that 9,300 reference questions were answered and there were 29,307 library visits.

Under the category of program statistics, there were 86 adult programs with 1,582 attendees and 56 children’s programs with 2,591 attendees.

Computer statistics showed that there were 14 public computers; 5,794 users; 4,250 requests for staff help with computers ;and 7,895 WiFi users.

Regarding the library’s Family Place program, Pulley reported that two staff members would be traveling to New York May 6 for a six-day conference.

As part of the library’s summer reading program, which was also released by Pulley, there will be a Texas A&M-Commerce Chemistry Road Show July 20 at the First United Methodist Church in Canton.

“This is our VZC Library end of summer reading bash,” said Pulley. “We are expecting 300-500 kids for this event. We have invited every school district and every daycare to attend.”

The event is sponsored by the Texas A&M-Commerce Science Department and the VZC Friends of the Library and is open to all VZC students from the third grade and up.

At the completion of Pulley’s report, the commissioners’ court expressed its appreciation to her. “I think you do a great job and our library is an asset to this county,” summarized VZC Pct. 4 Commissioner Tim West.