Director’s Report, 2017
This year, the facility was our main focus, with building improvements as well as continued improvements to the layout of the building. At the same time, we enhanced the collection while improving access to ensure we were bringing the Salem community the best library service possible. As always, we invite you to come and see for yourself what's new this year at your local library.
• Thanks to a the approval of the Salem taxpayers, we were able to extend library hours. Where we closed early on Mondays and Tuesday, we were able to move to a consistent 9-8:30 model for all weekdays. Not only is this more user friendly in these over scheduled times, it allows for more evening hour availability for the meeting room. As part of the change in hours, we added a part-time reference tech to ensure that there would be skilled help for research and using the library computers and other equipment.
• Continuing to keep in mind the many demands on everyone's time, we took a leadership role in our consortium (GMILCS) and in the state by changing our circulation period for 2 weeks to 4 weeks. We believe that while people want to read, listen to music, and watch films, they fell limited and stressed by the shorted circulation period. It has been a huge success with a lot of positive feedback and an uptick in circulation.
• The facility saw some upgrades this years, again thanks to taxpayer support, For the first time in many years, the exterior of the building was painted. The new colors soften the look of the building for a more modern, welcoming appearance. Additionally, we have new tables upstairs, finishing the replacement of these throughout the building. Another air conditioning unit was also replaced.
• Again, in a leadership role, we remodeled the bathrooms in the children's room - a process well over due. One will continue to be a unisex bathroom for all ages and the other will now be just for children with child sized fixtures. The remodel additionally revealed the beginnings of a septic pipe failure, allowing for replacement long before what would be a messy disaster.
• The Children’s Room also received a change, with the circulation desk moved into the center of the room, similar to the one on the Main Floor. The staff is now in the middle of the action, better able to be responsive to the needs of the users of the children's room and making the staff more approachable.
• We have focused collection development of Cool Stuff - non-book items that encourage imagination, creativity, archiving, family history and other similar missions of libraries. Our collection grew to include a sewing machine, gizmos to digitize your family photos and slides, digitize your family videos and digitize your LPs and cassettes. Additionally , we have items ranging from virtual reality headsets to light therapy lamps.
Did you know? we have extensive local history archives of photographs and information available on line with your library cars. Through the library's Biblioboard e-research product, you can access historical information about American's Stonehenge, Veterans of Salem NH, Canobie Lake Park, Rockingham Park and much more about local Salem history.
Alison Baker, Director