This week the library owes a great deal of thanks to a group of volunteers who count for us in very special ways.
Every year the library selects a week to conduct a count of our usage, using this "typical week" as a sort of survey for what our average usage is all year long.
What do we mean by usage? Not just items checked out, but items looked at but not checked out, computers used, reference questions asked, or people just using the library space for get-togethers, information-gathering trips, or routine visits. As part of these tasks, at our DeMotte and Rensselaer locations, we ask volunteers to spend a few hours counting our visitors. So don't be surprised to see another friendly face this week if you stop in.
The numbers that come out of this annual process are very important: they are used at the state level to determine our future funding and other factors.
Those of us who love libraries know they are an important part of our communities. We provide information, and more importantly, free access to that information, regardless of age or income. We help those exploring computers for the first time (of any age) learn the skills they need to master this technology. We help parents select materials for their son or daughter to develop or improve reading skills.
We can name that guy in that movie and tell you the other movies he has done since. No seriously, ask us.
And we can recommend a good book.
There is no week that is typical in the kinds of questions we get, or the people we see. That's one of the best things about the library. It's always something brand new every day.