This time of year is a time when statistics are compiled for the previous year. I thought I would share some of the figures that address our activity. The library was open 301 days in 2010. Although we don't track daily walk-ins, we estimate that on average, 200 people come in daily from all walks of life and age groups including: retired, unemployed, elementary and high school students, St Mary's students, college students, the home schooled, book groups, people who work in Morris but live elsewhere, day care providers, group home residents, families and anyone who wants to read the daily paper, use their laptop, or look for a good book, magazine, or movie. On average, 36 people use our computers per day, for a total of 10,799 uses. The meeting room was used 187 times by groups such as Weight Watchers, Girl Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Garden Club, Genealogy group, Moms In Touch and others. 2000 - 3000 library items are sent to area libraries per month (and at least as many received). 450 new cards were issued. We are a busy place.
Vampires have become quite popular in our culture lately. TV programs, movies and books on vampires abound in popularity. We cannot keep books on vampires on the shelves, literally. The whole series of the Southern Vampire mystery books by Charlaine Harris cannot be found. Other titles too have gone missing, such as the Artemis Fowl books and books by local Minnesota author, William Kent Krueger. Many libraries install a security system to counter the loss of stolen books. Our funds are already tight, but at some point we may need to consider this option. It's just one more way our materials' budget is cut.
A display in the children's area features the books of Dr Seuss. Theodore Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904 and so we celebrate his birth anniversary this month. He died Sept. 24, 1991.
The Prairie Gate Literary Festival is March 25-26 on campus and in the community. Prairie Gate previews (book readings and discussion) have been occurring around town the last month or so. Featured authors/poets/writers are Tom Hennen, Eric Gansworth, Mary Rose O'Reilley, Kiese Laymon, and Philip Bryant. There will be free public events as well as workshops that require registration. Online go to www.morris.umn.edu/prairiegate, or call 320-589-7002 for additional information.
The PRCA art gallery is featuring the 'book' art of Carol Ulrich. It is amazing how books can be transformed into works of art. If you haven't seen the exhibit yet, it will be on display through the middle of March.
Tom McRoberts, revered and beloved by many in the community for his work on campus and with students, bequeathed his library of books to the Briggs Library on campus and Morris Public Library. A display of his books being added to our collection will be featured during the month of March. Other titles will be available for sale at the Friends of the Library annual book sale during Prairie Pioneer days in July.
Books from the estate of Tom McRoberts
Dilbert Principle, by Scott Adams
Fist of God, by Fred Forsyth
The Greatest Generation, by Tom Brokaw
Guns, Germs, and Steel, by Jared Diamond
How the Mind Works, by Stephen Pinker
by William Loren Katz
Minnesota Eats Out,
by Kathryn Koutsky