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Jellico library releases annual report

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By Beth Braden

Jellico librarian Mark Tidwell outlined goals and accomplishments for the town’s library in an annual report for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

“We had a really good year and we’re off to a good fiscal year this year,” he said.

The library operated on a total budget of $293,658. The town provided $64,254 of that. The county provided $9.500. Additional money came in the form of grants and donations. 

The library operates with a staff of two. Tidwell earned his certified public library manager certification last May. There’s also a full-time assistant.

One of the initiatives at the library includes becoming familiar with the new state courier system.  The system began at the first of the year. Couriers visit the library each Tuesday and Thursday to bring specially requested books from other state libraries and to take materials from Jellico to other locales.

“It basically makes all the libraries in the state one,” Tidwell said. “For example, today I have received a book from Lewis County Public Library.”

In turn, he sent out three books.

“That just makes so many resources available across the State. It makes a small library have basically the same power as a big library.”

A new circulation system will also be put into place. The new system, called Verso, will allow patrons to browse selections online, renew books, and access other library services.

“I’ll know [Jan 31] whether we’re one of the libraries picked to receive this or not,” Tidwell said.

The state will fund part of the venture, and the regional library will also help. Tidwell will only need to use $400 of other library funds to implement the system. There will then be a $1,000 per year charge to maintain the system.

“It’s a part of linking everybody together,” he said.

Tidwell says visits and participation increased during the last fiscal year.

“It’s increased every year. We’ve never had a decrease. That’s the fallacy of people reporting libraries are just going away. Of course, more and more come for electronic resources, but you’ve got to have a good combination of both to stay relevant in the library world,” he said.

Quick Stats for 2011-12

• 20,385 visits in 2,000 hours of operation

• 21,628 items checked out of the library

• 8,153 log-ons to the computer

• 500,000 minutes of Internet connectivity

• 1,752 items added to shelves

• 79 children average attendance at the summer reading program