Jervis Public Library Director Lisa Matte has issued her annual report to the community for 2018.
The library launched several new programs and services last year, including:
Books for Babies at Rome Memorial Hospital, with funding fom Oneida County
Expansion of the library’s computer lab; new desktops in the lab, the internet cluster, the children’s room, and the express stations
WiFi hot spots available to borrow
Museum passes available to borrow
Automatic renewal of borrowed materials
New John B. Jervis display in the Dillon Room
Revamped data collection at service points for better accuracy
Streamlined call number system in the Children’s Room to make it easier for patrons to find specific materials
In 2018, the library sold more than 1,000 tickets to community events, including RFA musical performances, Rome Catholic School’s Hall of Fame dinner, R-Cat’s “Spay-ghetti” dinner, the Bellamy Community Awards, the Rome Historical Society’s tour of homes, and Strough Drama Club performances. The library also sold 36 tickets to Enchanted Forest Water Safari and 38 E-Z Passes for Thruway travel.
Jervis also offers snowshoes to borrow for wintertime adventure, and offers yoga classes, which were attended by dozens of children and adults last year.
The library has on staff a notary public, who notarized 126 documents in 2018.
As of the end of January, the library has reprised its role as tax form distributor, and, in a first-time partnership with United Way, is providing appointments for patrons to receive assistance in filing their taxes.
Jervis held 50 drop-in tech help sessions in 2018, providing 148 patrons with one-on-one tech assistance in the library, while offering assistance to another 22 in its three off-site tech help sessions.
In 2018, the library’s computers logged about 36,000 use sessions, about a third of which were uses of the WiFi network. The library’s webpage, jervislibrary.org, was visited about 51,000 times from outside the library, and Jervis’s social media pages received about 10,000 interactions.
Forty to 50 percent of households in the Rome’s census tract, which Jervis serves, have no internet connection. With the 2020 census slated to be online, the library anticipates investing a significant amount of time in 2019 preparing to assist in census completion.
According to the report, traditional library services are maintaining their popularity, while unique services and technology services increase in popularity.
Some of the library’s most popular programs in 2018 included the semi-annual Recycling Days, the summertime weekly Lemonade on the Lawn, and a visit with author and area native Chuck D’Imperio.
Repeating programs included a series with the Alzheimer’s Association, informative programs about New York’s health insurance options, information abuot the On Point for College programs, story times, a Teen Advisory Group, various author appearances, city ward meetings, and a writer’s group.
Nearly 250,000 items were borrowed from Jervis in 2018, more than 45,000 reference questions were answered, and meeting rooms were used by outside groups nearly 100 times.
Library staff and volunteers represented Jervis at 51 community eventsin 2018, reaching more than 3,000 people, many of whom took home a book thanks to funding from Oneida County.
Circulation of digital materials reached 22,000 items in 2018, with Overdrive/Libby items increasing by 27 percent thanks to supplemental funding from the county; 1,694 new library cards were issued, as well, Matte added and volunteer hours by teens and adults in the community totaled 364, averaging seven hours per week. The 91 area children who completed the Summer Reading Program spent an estimated 66,310 minutes of reading, and the 26 teens in the program read more than a combined 400 hours.
Annual book sale day on Aug. 1 was the library’s busiest day of the year, with 1,122 patrons taking part. In 2018, Jervis returned $8 in service for every one dollar invested into its programming, despite that the library’s budget has only increased four percent since 2005.
James W. Cusack, President of the library’s Board of Trustees, also issued a 2018 report to the community, which is printed in full below. “Let me first thank members of the community and library board members who have continually served the library’s needs for the past year. We extend a fond farewell to Kristin Grunder for her dedication as a trustee for 11 years. Her contributions will be sorely missed. However, we do have the pleasure of welcoming Sharon Carson as a new trustee and look forward to her contributions and input to the library’s future.
“Jervis Library continues to be an important cornerstone for the health and growth of our community. It has given the people of our city and community the opportunity to find jobs, explore medical research, experience new ideas, get lost in wonderful stories. It provides both a sense of place for gathering and access to a robust set of online resources.
“Jervis Library is successful in servicing the diversity, character, needs, and expectations of our community. In today’s environment, those needs and expectations are often extensive, and the services are invaluable. There was a time not so very long ago when libraries were a store house of books, a card catalog, and librarians who kept the patrons quiet. Today, Jervis library’s staff provide not only a large circulation of books, but a large and growing collection of electronic offerings from basic internet access to streaming videos, eBooks and even iPods. Interestingly, we even lend snow shoes and fishing gear.
“Our library is an important source of comprehensive information needed by people for personal, family and job-related purposes. Our community’s economy benefits when the people of our community use library resources to make wise personal and business decisions, improve job skills, and perform research for school projects.
“During economic hardship, our citizens turn to and depend on the library. Over summer vacations, evenings, and weekends, Jervis Library is available to school children from preschoolers to teenagers. College students often use the library when they are home for the weekend or for holidays making use of our reference resources and the talents of our reference librarians.
“I often drive by or visit our library and am always impressed that the parking lot is near full and often overflowing. Consistent with the expansion of our online accessible resources over the years, patrons are increasingly using those capabilities as well. Today, our staff functions well beyond the role of classic librarians by providing outreach to mini libraries and even providing services to local schools and individual students. I’m continually impressed with the capacity of our library’s ability to adopt new technologies and make them available to our patrons.
“Inside our walls, you can see our staff helping patrons with social security and Medicare enrollment, DMV registrations, snowmobile registrations, access to tax services and forms and much more. Jervis Library is an important access point for the internet while also offering assistance to many in our community who have internet access, but need a sympathetic guide to obtain the services they need.
“Once again, our Director Lisa Matte and her staff have had a banner year. Under her guidance and with the assistance of Assistant Director Kari Tucker, and Administrative Assistant Heather Wilson, we’ve accomplished a number of noteworthy milestones:
“Automatic renewal of books for patrons when there is no waiting list.
“A total revamp of its computer resources with the installation of the new computer lab.
“Patrons can now borrow portable Wi-Fi hotspots, and borrow passes to access museums and state parks.
“The Library’s STEM program has been enhanced, and the staff has added teen book discussions and even provides a ‘Safe Place to Game’ program.
“Our staff and its leadership continue to provide ever improving, quality services to our patrons and the greater community. Although this year will bring challenges, particularly with regard to preparing to assist in completing our nation’s census, I’m confident that we will weather the storms ahead, and I look forward to another successful year.”