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Richmond Public Library Richmond Public Library
1999 Annual Report

L-R Colleen Chambers (Chair), Susan Campbell, Henry Beh, Cllr. Corisande Percival-Smith, Dugal Smith, Helen Dubas, Perry Mazzone (Vice-Chair), Leslie Wood Bernbaum, Tung Chan
Reports:
Highlights from the Library Board

1999 Year at a Glance

Branching Out

Beyond Books: Technology Connects You to the World

Lifelong Learning in a Wired World

Activities for all Ages

Something for Everyone

Statistics:
Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

What was Borrowed

Senior Staff


Highlights from the Library Board

In 1999, the Richmond Public Library (RPL) combined the best in traditional library service with the latest in technological advances. During the successful first year of the Ironwood Branch - "Library of the Future" - customers enjoyed Ironwood's friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

Internationally, Ironwood is seen as a prototype for the future direction of public libraries. Dozens of dignitaries, administrators, librarians and architects from North America and as far away as Malaysia have visited the Ironwood Branch to learn more about how to incorporate RPL's successful technological advancements and operational efficiencies into their library systems.

Child at Computer Ironwood's dynamic merchandising techniques and retail strategies are also being adopted at the Brighouse (Main) Branch, where renovations took place to offer better customer service. More copies of bestsellers are now purchased, reducing the waiting time for popular titles, and new books are prominently displayed, with front covers facing out. Brighouse Branch expanded Express Checkout and self-sorting return slots in 1999 and this resulted in items being returned to the shelves more quickly, and staff devoting more time to offering first class customer service.

Helpful Staff The library was proud to receive numerous awards in 1999, including the Public Library Association's Highsmith Award for creativity in library programs using technology. The Ironwood Branch won several prestigious honors, including the Royal Bank/Willis Award for Innovation; the Canadian Library Association/Faxon Marketing Award; and the BC Library Association Merit Award for building design and planning.

In order to maximize resources and build on the excellent support provided by Mayor Greg Halsey-Brandt and City Council, the library continued to develop business and community partnerships. A partnership was formed with UBC Continuing Studies, resulting in a satellite Richmond campus for local citizens. Another beneficial partnership was formed with Human Resources Development Canada, resulting in a grant to establish a Job Search Centre in 2000. Many organizations and individuals donate generously to the library, including the Friends of the Library, and our most notable donor, Mr. Kwok-Chu Lee. Mr. Lee donated almost 14,000 Chinese language books and well over $20,000 in 1999.

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1999 Year at a Glance

Library use and program attendance continue to grow, and demand for more services is constantly increasing. Staff continue to offer a high level of customer service to meet those needs.

Richmond residents who regularly use their library cards 134,647 (85% of Richmond residents)
Number of visits to the Library 1,471,148
Number of books, videos & CDs borrowe 2,816,240
Number of questions answered 228,926
Number of people who attended library programs 42,969
Number of Chinese language items available 57,500
Number of Internet, catalog and computer terminals 118
Number of visits to the library's Web site 2,607,698

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Branching Out

  • More bestsellers available to enjoy.
  • Increased multicultural programming to satisfy community needs.
  • More teaching and training workshops for lifelong learning.
  • E-books acquired for customers to borrow.
  • Customers notified of holds and overdues more quickly via automated phone system.
  • ESL conversation circle helped newcomers practice their English.
  • Delivery service brought books and tapes to over 70 homebound residents on a regular basis.

"The introduction of CDs for loan was a wonderful idea." (Library Customer)

"Your staff is friendly and helpful. It's much appreciated." (Library Customer)

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Beyond Books: Technology Connects You to the World

Library Online was launched in 1999 and enables customers to access the library's catalog 24 x 7, apply for a library card, reserve a computer, register for a course, and renew and request books online.

RPL's Web site is one of the most actively used library Web sites in the country with over 2,600,000 requests in 1999.

Links to Richmond City Hall, health professionals and community groups enable customers to quickly access local information and resources.


The Richmond News named RPL's Web site the best Web site in Richmond in 1999.


"I love the new online system. Now I can help my son research books available for his projects at home and put my favorite books on hold myself." (Ironwood customer)

"Your automated checkout system is a timesaver." (Ironwood customer)


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Lifelong Learning in a Wired World

  • Library staff introduce people of all ages to the world of technology.
  • Computer courses offered in Mandarin.
  • Classes to help people find jobs.
  • Specialized Internet classes were presented for kids, teens and adults.
  • Seniors enjoyed special Hands-On Internet classes geared just for them.
"Now I can keep in touch with my grandchildren through e-mail." (Senior library customer)


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Activities for all Ages

Programs for adults and children encourage literacy, spark the imagination and teach new skills.
  • Daily storytimes entertained thousands of children and encouraged literacy.
  • Nearly 3,500 kids enjoyed the Summer Reading Club.
  • Hundreds of teens entered their creative works in the Young Adult Writing Contest.
  • Hundreds of people attended the New Immigrant Orientation programs.

"The summer reading club is great because it keeps my kids reading all summer long and there are
lots of fun activities for them." (Parent)



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Something for Everyone

The Library now has over 350,000 items to borrow:
  • Hardcover & paperback books
  • Videos
  • Magazines
  • Audio books
  • Newspapers
  • Large Print books
  • CD music
  • Books in 8 languages
  • CD-ROMs
  • Multilingual magazines & newspapers

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Richmond public Library Board: Statement of Revenue and Expenditures

Revenue ($)
City of Richmond contribution 4,809,100
Grants* 330,957
Fines and other revenue 303,448
Total 5,443,505

Expenditures ($)
Automation 111,627
Books and periodicals 875,829
Buildings, leases and maintenance 150,791
Utilities 142,294
Minor capital purchases 8,932
Resource sharing services 48,431
Salaries and employee benefits 3,557,651
Supplies and equipment services 349,132
General and administration 196,167
Total 5,440,854

Excess of revenue
over expenditures
2,651
Surplus, beginning of year 11,107
Allocation to City of Richmond -
Surplus, end of year 13,758

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

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What was Borrowed

Total Circulation in 1999: 2,816,240
Increase over 1998: 30%

Percentage of Total Circulation, 1999
Helpful Staff
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Senior Staff

Greg Buss, Chief Librarian and Secretary to the Board

Cate McNeely, Deputy Chief Librarian

Beryl Jeffrey, Manager of Public Services

Sybil Harrison, Coordinator of Reference and Information

Susan Henderson, Manager of Branch Services

Linda Bogdonov, Coordinator of Computer Services

Andrew Jankowski, Coordinator of Technical Services

Shelley Civkin, Head of Readers' Advisory

Kelly Clark, Head of Youth Services

Marie McKee, Head of Multimedia Learning Centre

Mark Ellis, Network Support Analyst

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