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Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library
1996 Annual Report

L-R Back Row John Van Buekenhout, Jim Chu (Chair), John Collison, Colleen Chambers (Vice-Chair), Perry Mazzone, Valentina Wojna
L-R Front Row Sharon Birch, Councillor Corisande Percival-Smith, Betty Hayer
Reports:
Message from Jim Chu, Library Board Chair

Quality Service and Collections

Service to Neighbourhoods

Bringing people and Technology Together

Ask an Expert

Serving Richmond's Youth

Fund Development

Statistics:
Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

Activities

Senior Staff


Jim Chu, Library Board Chair

Message from Jim Chu, Library Board Chair

In November 1996, Richmond public Library celebrated its 20th Anniversary as an independent library system. The Library is very young, and yet its achievements have been significant.

The services provided to the community are tremendous: a first class multimedia computing center; a community-based Web site; a strong and growing Chinese language collection; excellent Internet access and instruction; efficient, friendly and knowledgeable staff; clean, well-maintained buildings; and noteworthy programs for children, teens and adults are just a few of the fine services that the Library provides to the community.

Residents of Richmond flocked to their Library in 1996, and the Library responded by improving Internet and other technological services, and expanding book collections.

The Library was the recipient of two major awards in 1996: the Canadian Library Association/Meckler Media Award for innovative use of technology, and the L.peRCy Award from the public Relations Council of New York for the best design of an Internet Web site.

There is still much to be done in the areas of collections, streamlining services, the development of branches, and the provision of advanced technological services, but the accomplishments to date show that the Richmond public Library is well on its way to meeting the challenges of the future.

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Quality Service and Collections

Library use continues to grow and four out of every five residents (112,116) actively use their Richmond public Library cards. Well over one million visits were made to the Brighouse (Main)and Steveston Branches during the year and people checked out over 1.8 million books, videos and CD-ROMs.

The Chinese language book collection increased from 11,000 to over 20,000 volumes and this was in part due to ongoing donations from the community. Circulation of Chinese language material increased by 50% with 217,688 books checked out in 1996. Library tours and other programs were offered in Cantonese for the first time, another important step in improving service to the community of Richmond.

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Service to Neighbourhoods

1996 was a year of improvements for the Steveston Branch. public Internet service was launched and the branch was revitalized with a new floor plan, carpet and fresh paint. participation in children's programs, including many school visits, increased by 14%, and circulation of books and other items increased by 8%. There were 152,145 visits to the Steveston Branch in 1996.

Library service was brought to the Hamilton neighborhood for the first time with a special summer library project which was developed and funded in partnership with the City of Richmond, the Richmond School Board and the Hamilton Community Association.

Plans have been put in place for the new Ironwood Branch, scheduled to open in the late Fall of 1998.

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Bringing people and Technology Together

Software and CD-ROM use in the Multimedia Learning Centre increased by 27% over 1995, and 3,459 new patrons registered as Centre users. A wide range of business software along with state-of-the-art Macintosh and Windows computers helped people write resumes, type cover letters, learn new programs and develop other critical skills for the information age. In response to the growing popularity of the Centre, the Library introduced a collection of CD-ROMs that can be borrowed and enjoyed at home.

The new edition of the Multimedia Information Kiosk was developed and includes such improved features as welcome sections in the Cantonese and Mandarin dialects. A companion Welcome to the Library video was also produced and is now loaned to all new patrons. The video and the Kiosk are part of the Library's Welcome Centre, designed to educate patrons about the range of services offered at the Library. Both projects were generously sponsored by the Friends of the Library volunteer organization.

Richmond became one of the first public libraries in Canada to provide the SearchBank magazine database via the Internet. Now hundreds of magazines are available free to Richmond Library card holders over the Internet at: www.rpl.richmond.bc.ca.

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Ask an Expert

More than 200,000 research and reference questions were answered for the residents of Richmond. Over 27,000 people attended a variety of programs, from Storytimes for Toddlers and Job Searching Workshops for Teens, to Author Readings and Business Seminars.

Librarians continued to offer basic and advanced hands-on Internet courses for the public. A three-day Train the Trainers program, an intensive hands-on workshop for library staff from across the province, was designed and delivered by Richmond public Library in conjunction with the provincial Library Services Branch. A $40,000 grant was awarded for this project.

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Serving Richmond's Youth

In 1996, Youth Services staff served children, teens, teachers, parents, caregivers and other adults who work with youth. Over 14,900 participants took part in programs, plus a record 4,176 local youth joined the Summer Reading Club. The Young Adult Writing Contest continued to be one of the Library's most popular programs, and winning stories were published in RealAudio on the Library's Web site.

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Fund Development

Richmond City Council continued to generously support library service for the community of Richmond. As the popularity and use of the Library grew in 1996, the Library Board took some initiatives in the area of fund development in an effort to continue to manage resources wisely. The Celebrate With Books campaign, which provided a tax receipt for donations to the Library, began in late November and raised over $1,600 by year end. Mr. Kwok Chu Lee (Lam Chun) donated 3,900 books and $4,200 in proceeds from his Qigong classes. The Library also received a generous donation of $10,000 from a local donor who wished to remain anonymous, for the purchase of English and Chinese language books.

The Friends of the Library continued to make tremendous contributions to the Library. In 1996 they donated a variety of special equipment and also donated $25,000 to the Library's endowment fund in the Vancouver Foundation.

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Richmond public Library Board: Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

Revenue ($)
Municipal contribution 4,046,008
Grants* 309,781
Fines and miscellaneous 260,897
Total 4,616,686

Expenditures ($)
Automation 132,213
Books and periodicals 730,720
Buildings, leases and maintenance 33,859
Utilities 100,243
Minor capital purchases 25,592
Resource sharing services 81,959
Salaries and employee benefits 3,058,756
Supplies and equipment services 216,933
General and administration 231,425
Total 4,611,700

Excess (deficiency) of revenue
over expenditure
4,986
Surplus, beginning of year 121,981
Surplus, end of year 126,967

*The Richmond public Library Board wishes to acknowledge the Library Services Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs for its generous support.

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Activities

Books, videos and cassettes borrowed 1,827,744
Questions answered 201,838
Members 112,166
Attendance at programs 27,134
Visits to Main and Steveston Branches 1,111,338

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Senior Staff

Greg Buss, Chief Librarian and Secretary to the Board

Cate McNeely, Deputy Chief Librarian

Jane Watkins, Manager of Public Services

Linda Bogdonov, Coordinator of Computer and Circulation Services

Andrew Jankowski, Coordinator of Technical Services

Beryl Jeffrey, Coordinator of Reference and Information Services

Shelley Civkin, Head of Readers' Advisory Services

Kelly Clark, Head of Multimedia Learning Centre

Andrée Duval, Head of Youth Services

Mark Ellis, Computer Support Technician

Sandra Lee, Steveston Branch Head

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