Library Annual Report 1894

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May 8, 1894

Report of the Committee on Library and Reading Room.

During the past year, the improvement in the affairs of the Library, which was noticeable during 1893, is still more apparent, the increase in circulation is material, showing a total of 15,190, during the year, an increase over last year of 3,841. The same improvement in Reading Room attendance is evident, showing an increase of 4,514 over last year.

The circulation of books for adults has been greater than for the children. Although the total fort he latter is greater than for any previous year, it is not proportionate to other classes, the reason for this is, that fewer juveniles books have been purchased.

There has been an increased demand for books of reference, and books of this character should be added as early as possible. The idea should not be lost sight of, that an important use of books of reference, is that of teaching the young minds how to look up subjects, so that the education begun in school may continue through life, by the help the Library affords.

We need an adequate supply of such books, also a supply of juvenile books - at least 100 would bring this class into prominence again. If we can reach the boys and girls, we build for the future, but at the same time, we cannot afford to neglect to supply our adult readers with new publications, so that their interest is kept alive, and their support, which is so necessary, secured.

During the past year, we have purchases 131 new books, 251 have been presented to us, and 59 magazines bound.

The entire aspect of the Library's affairs proves conclusively the great need of more convenient quarters. Our shelves are much too crowded now, and the reading room is in itself unattractive and badly ventilated, the Library has certainly outgrown its present quarters.

We should solicit donations of engravings, maps, casts, photographs, etc., to make the Library room more attractive, such gifts would be greatly appreciated.

The Library Committee most cordially thank all those who who have helped the Library in various ways during the year.

It is just, that the Library Committee stat that they are satisfied with the efforts of the present Librarian in the performance of her respective duties.

It is with great pleasure that this Committee is enable to present a report so gratifying in its character, and we earnestly hope and believe that the improvement so noticeable at present, will continue in the future, and that our Library will speedily become a potent factor in the advancement of this community.

Respectfully submitted for the Committee,
HARRIET E. BABSON

LIBRARIAN'S REPORT

During the year just closed 15,190 books have been used by 860 persons and 11,955 readers have visited the Reading Room. A statement of the circulation and Reading Room use for each year since 1886, the term for which the Library has been a free institution, will be found following the annual report of circulation and readers.

In order to give the much needed space for additions and work, a number of books were sold, 65 (duplicated) were given to the Wyoming Library, and 58 were discarded, as being too much worn for further use. There have been 6 books lost and 40 rebound. Of 441 additions, 251 were gifts, 131 were bought, 59 were volumes of magazines bound.

A list of "Wants" to complete volumes and sets of magazines, has been prepared with the hope that those interested in the Library will contribute any they may have of the numbers specified. Indeed any magazines will be acceptable, for when duplicated they can be exchanged and thus gaps may be filled without expense to the library.

In the Reading Room a decided increase has been noticeable, in the attendance of the small urchin, - than whom none need more, just such influence.

Since the catalogue-case was given to us, the work of preparing a card catalogue has progressed steadily. The shelf-list or arrangement by subjects is completed and arranged, and 3,000 author and title cards have been written.

By referring to the report of circulation it will be seen that the Extension lectures are having an effect on the circulation of the Library. The six-lecture-course on Literature, given in November and December caused a large increase for those months, and indeed, has materially raised the average of succeeding months.

A reading-list on English history has been compiled and it is proposed to undertake one of American history, on the same general principle.

The most pressing present need is for more shelf-room. Our shelves are now much too crowded for the good of the books, there being moreover no opportunity for adequately increasing the present capacity, and as the Library grows, this condition will be more and more apparent in the future. With new and better facilities a still further increased use might naturally be expected and an ever widening influence for good in the community.

ALMA ROGERS VAN HOEVENBERG, Librarian