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Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library
1997 Annual Report

L-R Amy Karlinsky, Valentina Wojna, Sharon Birch, Mark Porter, Councillor Corisande Percival-Smith, John Collison, Jim Chu (Chair), Perry Mazzone, Colleen Chambers
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 1997, Richmond Public Library demonstrated its ongoing commitment to excellence. The Library provided enhanced programs and services; improved access to technology; expanded collections to meet the demands of the diverse Richmond community; and streamlined operations to make increasingly efficient use of resources.

The demand for library services continues to grow and the Library Board is responding with a branch development strategy. The first part of that plan is the new Ironwood Branch, scheduled to open in 1998.

The Ironwood Branch will combine the latest technology with the best of the traditional library. The 12,000 square foot library, now under construction at Steveston Highway and No. 5 Road, will include a computer learning and training facility, an Internet Cafe and Express Check Out machines. A wealth of information for teenagers and adults will be available via digital reference centres, while children can use computers complete with a variety of fun and educational CD-ROMs. Patrons will also enjoy an excellent selection of popular books for all ages.

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Quality Service and Collections

Library use continues to grow and four out of every five residents (122,290) actively used their Richmond Public Library cards during the year. Over one million, one hundred thousand visits were made to the Brighouse (Main) and Steveston branches during the year. People checked out over two million books, videos and CD-ROMs, an increase of 11.6% over 1996.

The success of Richmond Public Library's Chinese language collection and services was highlighted in a program on CNN. The Chinese language book collection increased from 20,000 items in 1996 to over 34,000 items, due in part to ongoing donations from the community, and circulation of Chinese language material increased by 57%. Richmond now has one of the largest Chinese language collections in the Lower Mainland.

In addition, library tours and other programs were offered in Cantonese and Mandarin.

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Service to Neighbourhoods

Community partnerships resulted in an extension of the Library's service to neighbourhoods. A popular reading collection was established in cooperation with the South Arm Community Association, while a Summer Library brought local service to the people of the Hamilton neighbourhood for the second year. The Hamilton project was developed and funded by the Library, the City of Richmond, the Richmond School Board and the Hamilton Community Association.

Circulation at the Steveston Branch increased by 14% over 1996. The Shellmont Branch closed its doors in 1997 in anticipation of the new 12,000 square foot Ironwood Branch, opening in 1998.

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

The Library was delighted to host Premier Glen Clark, who launched the provincially funded Youth and the Internet program in June. Richmond Public Library took a leadership role in training youth workers and library staff from across the province in web design and Internet training.

Software and CD-ROM use in the Multimedia Learning Centre increased 5.5% over 1996, and over 3,000 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, develop business plans, learn new programs and develop other critical skills for the information age. In response to the growing popularity of the Centre, a collection of CD-ROMs that can be borrowed and enjoyed at home was expanded.

Access to technology was enhanced with the introduction of more Internet stations at Brighouse, Steveston and in the Multimedia Learning Centre, bringing the total number of public Internet stations to fifteen.

There were over 300,000 visits to the Library's award-winning web site, which has evolved into a key centre of information for Richmond residents. Due to the Library's strategic partnerships with many local organizations, including the Richmond Review, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the R.C.M.P. Richmond Block Watch, a wealth of community information is available on the web site.

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Ask an Expert

More than 194,000 research and reference questions were answered for local residents.

The Library continued teaching people how to access information in the digital age. Its Internet classes drew over 1,100 people in 1997, bringing the total number of people trained by the Library's teaching team to well over 4,000 since 1994. The introductory Explore the Internet sessions were complemented by smaller, advanced Hands-on Internet classes for members of the public and special groups, including the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and City of Richmon employees.

The Reference Department hosted Job Week 1997 in November in cooperation with Richmond business, social service and government agencies. Over 300 people took advantage of 18 workshops on job search skills.

The expertise of Richmond Public Library staff was drawn upon again this year as libraries from across B.C. requested staff to assist them with such projects as Fund Raising, Public Relations and Advocacy and to speak at conferences in Seattle, Ottawa and San Francisco.

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Serving Richmond's Youth

The Young Adult Writing Contest received recognition from the American Library Association as one of the top North American Library programs.

Four Youth and the Internet grant workers revitalized the Teen section of the Library's award-winning web site, incorporating input from Richmond youth.

The Summer Reading Club provided a recreational and educational experience for over 2,600 children ages six to 12. One innovation was Kids' Corner: Lost in a Book, a column featuring children's book reviews which was produced in partnership with the Richmond News. Many local businesses and community associations provided prizes and sponsorship for both the Summer Reading Club and the Writing Contest.

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Fund Development

City Council continued to provide excellent support of library service for the community of Richmond. In an effort to maximize library resources, the Library Board increased its initiatives in the area of fund development. Funds raised by the Celebrate with Books campaign, which provides tax receipts for donations to the Library, increased from $1,600 in 1996 to $30,368 in 1997.

The Library benefited once again from the generosity of Mr. Kwok-Chu Lee (Lam Chun), who gave to the Library the $30,000 in proceeds from his first Art Exhibit in Canada, along with over 8,000 high-quality Chinese language books. The Friends of the Library pledged to donate $5,000 annually to the Vancouver Foundation. This new gift, together with matching funds from the Foundation and interest, swelled the Friends' total contribution to over $160,000.

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Richmond public Library Board: Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

Revenue ($)
Municipal contribution 4,312,700
Grants* 413,930
Fines and miscellaneous 243,399
Total 4,970,029

Expenditures ($)
Automation 141,184
Books and periodicals 799,230
Buildings, leases and maintenance 28,029
Utilities 125,776
Minor capital purchases 1,276
Resource sharing services 98,528
Salaries and employee benefits 3,178,373
Supplies and equipment services 207,595
General and administration 201,536
Total 4,781,527

Excess (deficiency) of revenue
over expenditure
188,502
Surplus, beginning of year 126,966

*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 2,039,776
Questions answered 194,950
Active Members 122,290
Attendance at programs 27,043
Visits to Main and Steveston Branches 1,180,150

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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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