Alva Review-Courier -

Library provides a cool, quiet place to relax and read


Marione Martin.

Lego creations greet visitors in the entry of the Alva Public Library. These are the work of youngsters attending the Lego Club, which meets at the library.

The Alva Public Library has replaced all but three small units of the air conditioners installed when the building was new. Library Director Sandra Ott Hamilton said the new budget, which went into effect July 1, has enough funds to replace those units if they go out.

Hamilton said they're seeing more people come into the library to read without checking out books or other items. She said some people find it a pleasant cool place to relax and read magazines while waiting for an appointment elsewhere. A number of youngsters are participating in the reading challenge where they check in at the desk and read to earn points. After achieving 45 minutes of reading, they receive a small prize. Some of these readers have the desk hold their books until they come in to read again.

The library staff did an informal count of people coming in to read without checking out materials and logged 1,123 visits over a three-month period. This does not include the parents who accompany their children and read books to them in the juvenile section.

The library signed up 30 new patrons during June. They hosted 13 meetings for a total of 205 in the past year. An estimated 725 research requests were handled during June for a total of more than 7,000 during the year.

Juvenile checkouts increased to 829 in June, the highest level seen in the past year. The total for the year was reported at 7,782, about half of the number for the previous year. However, Hamilton said a new system being used for checkouts led them to discover they were counting juvenile checkouts twice. The books were being scanned in the juvenile section downstairs and again at the main floor desk. Now the books are scanned only at the main floor desk.

Digital audiobook checkouts were 293 compared to regular audiobooks on CD at 15. Ebook checkouts for June were 454.

Looking at the past year, Hamilton said there were fewer field trip visits by classrooms compared to the previous year. She attributes this to busy school schedules and more availability of books in the schools. She plans to talk with the schools to see if the library should focus on other areas.

Summer Programs

The summer reading program ended July 8, the day of the library board meeting. Hamilton said the numbers fell off toward the end of the six week program due to a lot of conflicts with other activities and vacations. They are looking at changing to a four week program.

The last Lego Club meeting had 27 in attendance. The next meetings are scheduled for July 23 and Aug. 6. "Free builds," made without following a pre-made pattern, are on display in the entrance area of the library.

The Code Club continues to meet every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Those who are involved in the club can also go into the library at other times to practice because the programs are online.

The Little Explorers group for small children accompanied by parents is continuing at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays until school begins.

Hamilton said some library funds from the state were used to purchase three more iPads for the downstairs juvenile library area. These are loaded with games the kids can play while visiting the library and are not connected to the internet.

Other Business

Hamilton said the city is moving to a different telephone system. Until now, the library has been on a separate system, but they will be included in the new one. The library will have the same phone numbers but email addresses will change.

The library board had their annual reorganization with the election of officers. Lynn Wilt will continue to chair the meetings. Hamilton was elected to continue as secretary.


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