At the Library 11/24/22

At the Library                                                                                                         
by Cary Ann Siegfried


Since this is the week that we’re all reflecting back on what we’re thankful for, this seems like a perfect time to think back on the last year at the Washington Public Library!

Over the last 12 months, we’ve been thankful to see so many new faces at the library, as well as ones that we haven’t seen for a long time.  So far in 2022, 574 people have come in and registered for a new library card with us and 481 cardholders came in and renewed their card. We value both the new friends we’ve made and the continued friendships we have with our library patrons!

We’ve also loved seeing adults and youth find books that excite, inspire, educate and inform. So far in 2022, our patrons have checked out 53,519 books, movies, CD’s and downloadable books and audiobooks.  We often hear that “kids don’t read anymore” but 20,419 of the physical books checked out of our library were books for children and teens so that’s obviously not true in Washington!

Now that the weather is getting colder, we’re happy that so many library patrons are making use of our digital collection. While we love to see all of you in the library, on cold and snowy days we also love picturing our patrons at home by the fireplace reading a book on their tablet or eReader!  Just in the last year 151 patrons started using the eBooks and eAudiobooks provided through Iowa’s Bridges consortium for the very first time and over 500 of our patrons used Bridges in the last year to check out and download over 14,000 items.  

And while we’re glad to see our collection used so well, we’re also thankful that so many community members join us on a regular basis for programs in the library. In 2022, program attendance reached 5,172 people! We aspire to be our community’s living room and are thankful for the opportunity to fill that role here in Washington.  While we enjoy our jobs here among the books, we love being surrounded by people even more!

From my own individual perspective as Library Director I’m so thankful to be working in a community that values its public library so much and has such a supportive and involved Library Board, as well as a Library Foundation Board that is committed to continually improving our collection and facility. And finally, I’m most thankful to be working with such an amazing staff:  LeAnn, Jo, Tammy, Jenisa, Linda, Iliea, Amelia, Ruby, Rita, and Mia, thank you for all that you do every day for our community!