Letter from our Executive Director: Reflecting on 2018

Thanks to the kindness, passion, and energy of our vibrant community, the Westerville Public Library celebrated many successes and overcame significant challenges in 2018.

On an average day, the library welcomed 1,402 visitors who borrowed 5,237 items. Throughout the year, almost 2 million items were borrowed, over 2,000 events were offered, and 7,300 meetings were held.

In addition, the library delivered almost 110,000 items to 117 different locations around town, helped 1,300 students with their homework, and mailed 25,000 books to kids signed up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For an in-depth look at the numbers, view our annual report.

To encourage reading throughout the summer, the Westerville Public Library distributed over 6,000 free books to elementary school students.

In October, the library was transformed into a wizarding wonderland and welcomed over 2,300 visitors to the Wizards & Wands Festival.

And the popular Meet the Authors series continued with record turnout for headliners Ernest Cline (Ready Player One), Angie Thomas (The Hate U Give), and Alexander McCall Smith (The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series).

The library embarked on many new initiatives, such as extended hours during Uptown Westerville’s 4th Fridays, a new seed library, and the launch of a popular fiction collection at Otterbein University’s Courtright Memorial Library. Featured events included Career Week, a How-To Festival, and guest storytimes featuring community members such as a child entrepreneur, tattoo artist, and drag queen.

With your support and patience, we completed numerous renovation projects - including new flooring, paint, and furniture, and the installation of an interactive treehouse in the children’s area. We also recovered quickly from an unexpected water leak in March that required building repairs and the replacement of over 5,000 books. And in February, we shared in Westerville’s grief over the loss of Officers Joering and Morelli. Officer Morelli worked special duty at the library for over 20 years. For their service to the library and our community, we will always be grateful.

In 2019, we look forward to addressing three strategic focus areas where we believe your library can have the greatest impact on your life: 1. Expand access for all. 2. Tell the library’s story. 3. Optimize the library’s assets.

Key results will include an Innovation Lab with a recording studio, augmented reality and virtual reality tools, and large-format printing capabilities. To increase access for all, automatic renewal will give you more peace of mind and more time with your library materials.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 18th amendment. Numerous events and walking tours will shine a light on Westerville’s connection to the Prohibition era.

We look forward to the year ahead, creating a curious and compassionate community ready to meet life’s challenges.

Sincerely,

Erin Francoeur
Executive Director (February 11, 2019)

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