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State of the Library: 2015

 

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New Reference and Circulation Desks Installed

Thanks to a very generous donation from the Palumbo Family, funding from the Friends of the Somers Library, and funding from the Somers Library Foundation, the Somers Library renovated its circulation and reference desks to better serve the community and to update its interior.

Library Reaches Social Media Heights

The Library holds a significant presence in the social media world. It closed the year with 786 Facebook followers, 5,991+ Twitter followers, and over 39,500 Pinterest followers. These numbers all continue to grow on a daily basis. In 2014 the library started a blog which has been viewed over 1700 times. The library also started posting recommended books to Awesome Box, which allows the community to see what books, movies, and music others have found particularly entertaining, helpful, or eye-opening. The library continues to post pictures of programs and more on Flickr.

Mobile Printing Added

Somers Library Mobile lets you print documents, photos, and more from your own computer or mobile device, inside or outside the library.

Somers Seed Lending Library

With generous funding from The Friends of Somers Library, Somers Seed Lending Library is now in its third successful year. Last year, over forty people borrowed seeds from the library, with nearly the same amount of people borrowing seeds the year before. During the summer of 2014, the Somers Library Seed Lending Library and Somers Historical Society collaborated with local businesses to establish a garden at the Wright Reis Homestead, with produce being donated to the St. Luke’s Food Pantry. Heirloom seeds were donated from Somers Seed Lending Library. Volunteers planted the seeds, tended the gardens, and harvested the produce, which was delivered weekly to the food pantry. The Wright Reis Homestead was chosen as the site of the garden because it represents an extension of the familial relationship between the Wright family of Somers, Somers Library, Somers Historical Society and St. Luke's Church. The Wright family of Somers has been an integral part of town history for generations. The last surviving member of the family, Caroline Wright Reis, operated her farm, now known as Reis Park, until the mid- 20th century. The 84-acre farm was bequest to the Town of Somers in the late 1960's and is now home to Somers Library, of which Caroline was an original trustee. The property's farmhouse and outbuildings, the Wright Reis Homestead, as well as the Wright family's collections and archives, are cared for jointly by Somers Historical Society and Town of Somers Historic Properties Board. Caroline's grandfather, Charles Wright, was one of the first vestrymen of St. Luke's Church.

Battle of the Books

Early in 2014, the library asked students from 4th through 9th grade to represent the Somers Library in the Westchester Library System first annual Battle of the Books. Battle of the Books is a book-based trivia tournament for Westchester youth with the goal being to promote a love of reading in kids and teens, to encourage them to think of their local public library as a resource for entertainment, and to inspire teamwork and good sportsmanship in an atmosphere of friendly competition.  The battle teams were broken down to 2 levels -- one with teams from 4th - 6th grade, and the other from 6th - 9th grade.  Each team was expected to read five books, practice with their teammates for the battle and then represent the Somers Library on October 18th 2014 at the Battle of the Books. 

Early on, we knew we had some bright, eager, enthusiastic kids willing to take this challenge! During the summer, each team member was given copies of the 5 books for their team, which were generously donated by the Friends of the Somers Library. In September, with the start of the new school, each team split up to work as separate groups.  The Lightning Books, the 6th-9th grade team, and the Lightning Books Jr, the 4th-6th grade team met 8 times during the 6 week period from the start of school to the battle date! On Saturday morning October 18th, the teams battled against teams from other libraries in Westchester County.  We could not have asked for a more hardworking and dedicated group.

And There Is Still Much More.......

The Library continued to provide numerous services to the Somers community, as well as multiple programs and events for all age groups. Here are some stats:

9,418 active library card holders

267,000 library visits

10,394 program visits

400,842 materials circulated

250,105 electronic materials circulated

60,232 library website visits

20,549 reference transactions

681 library programs provided for all ages

…and there is more

Especially for adults: book bingo, art classes, lectures, seed lending library, and concerts

Especially for teens: battle of the books, anime club, middle school book group, teen advisory board, regular practice SAT and PSAT tests, and babysitting classes.

Especially for kids: projects were coordinated for student volunteers who needed to earn community service; staff coordinated story times with Parks & Rec summer camps and expanded programs in cooperation with the schools, including the first grade tour, and the dog therapy program was expanded.

Due to our wonderful patrons, the dedication of the director and staff, cooperation of the Town Board, help from community volunteers and financial support from The Friends and The Foundation, the Somers Library has made great strides forward in all aspects of our building, our programs, and our patron services.