In 2014, our library was once again ranked as one of America’s finest libraries, receiving the coveted Five-Star rating. I would like to take a few moments to highlight some of our achievements that helped us earn Library Journal’s highest rating.
For the first time, Best Employers in Ohio and SHRM named our library as one of best places to work in the state, ranking 16th among small to medium size companies.
The library again circulated over 2.1 million items as the fourth busiest public library facility in Ohio, and our customers attended the library's 2,140 programs in record numbers. Programs were highlighted by two successful author events: visits by author of the Jack Reacher novels Lee Child and Diana Gabaldon, author of the hugely popular Outlander series.
The author series is hitting new heights in 2015. In February, Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, was a huge hit with all ages. We're looking forward to visits from A Desperate Fortune novelist Susanna Kearsley, Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman and NY Times bestselling author Daniel Silva. Finally, excitement will be high when Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn visits in November.
This year additional parking is on the horizon. In partnership with the city of Westerville, plans are underway to add between 45 and 60 parking spaces. We also will repave the parking lot and the roadway. The library’s 1955 HVAC system will be replaced as well, making the library much more energy efficient.
I thank you for another wonderful year at the Westerville Public Library and for a very promising 2015. Your continued support is deeply appreciated.
Don W. Barlow
Once again, Library Journal has recognized the Westerville Public Library as a Five-Star Library. Of the 7,586 public libraries nationwide that were ranked this year, only 85 were awarded a five-star rating, placing Westerville in the top 1% of all public libraries in the United States.
This prestigious and very welcomed national recognition is awarded to libraries that are the heaviest used and most cost efficient. Ratings are determined by community support, number of library visits, items borrowed, program attendance, computer usage and cost per capita. Scores are then compared to those of libraries within the same budget range.
We are grateful and humbled by this national recognition. We have a deep appreciation for the role our customers, Library Board of Trustees, dedicated and top-notch staff and wonderful community partners have played in this accomplishment.
We thank you for helping us achieve the ranking as one of America's finest libraries. We are proud of our past successes and with your continued support, we are excited about our future.
For more information about library rankings, visit Library Journal.
Don W. Barlow, Executive DirectorOct 312014
I often write to you announcing a new award or accolade. This time I’m letting patrons and the taxpayers know some unfortunate news, as it is our duty and responsibility to report both to the good and bad. In October, one of the library’s deputy fiscal officers was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $20,000. This came after library staff found financial discrepancies in overdue fines, beverage service and coin-operated machines accounts.
While the legal process continues to play out, Library staff is fully cooperating with the law enforcement investigation. Whatever the case’s outcome, there will be no loss of funds to taxpayers, as all of the library’s fiscal staff is bonded, and the Library and our insurer will demand full restitution.
This unfortunate situation presents the Library with an opportunity to improve our financial processes and tighten our fiscal controls. The library board, staff and outside experts are working diligently to determine if all protocols were followed and to ascertain what changes are needed to prevent future problems. We will continue to keep you informed of the situation as we move forward.
Don W. Barlow
Executive DirectorOct 292014
I am excited to announce that the Westerville Public Library has been named one of the 40 Best Employers in Ohio for 2014 by the Ohio Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and Best Companies Group. Our library is ranked #16 in the small/medium category for organizations with 15-249 employees.
The award is designed to recognize the best places for employment in Ohio, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The award honors accomplishments in the areas of leadership and planning; role satisfaction; work environment; relationship with supervisor; pay and benefits; and overall engagement.
Congratulations to the Library Board of Trustees for their vision and encouragement in the development of a wonderful workforce. Our congratulations also go out to one of the best staffs in Ohio, which is at long last recognized statewide.
Finally, thank you, Westerville, for your continual support of your library. None of our accomplishments would be possible without your constant kindness and support.
- Don Barlow, Executive Director
Every Ohio library faces the challenge of making the most of limited resources. Since all libraries share the common goal of offering the best possible service to library patrons, it benefits everyone when Ohio libraries share resources with other each other to the greatest extent possible. Supplementing our local collection through resource sharing is a smart way to ensure that the Westerville Public Library can provide you with all the resources to meet your needs. Your library is well on its way to making that happen.
Can’t find something in our collection? Is the waiting period too long for the item you need? Then you need to check out our resources through SearchOhio and OhioLINK. Rest assured, if that item is available, we will get it for you, usually within 3-5 business days.
SearchOhio is a joint catalog of 25 public libraries with 16 million items available to Westerville cardholders. OhioLINK is a joint catalog of 88 Ohio colleges and universities with holdings of 49 million items. Last year alone, SearchOhio libraries shared over 675,000 items, registering among the most highly used interlibrary loan systems in the United States.
Through our Library Link program, Westerville students and teachers receive school delivery of any of the 65 million items available through over 100 of Ohio’s participating libraries.
Your library continues to bring the world to your fingertips.
- Don Barlow, Executive DirectorOct 292014
As I mentioned, or bragged about, in the previous issue of Between the Pages, our library was once again ranked one of America’s finest libraries, receiving the coveted Five-Star Rating from the Library Journal. I would like to take a few moments to share some of our achievements in 2013 that helped earn us the highest rating.
The library again experienced record use in 2013 by circulating over 2.3 million items, making
Westerville the fourth busiest public library facility in Ohio. Our customers showed up in record numbers to attend the 600 programs at the library. The 2013 program schedule was highlighted by two major author visits. Over 1,500 people attended presentations by travel expert and author Rick Steves and nearly 400 attendees joined author Geraldine Brooks for an evening’s discussion. Visits by well-known authors are booked for 2014, starting with author Lee Child presenting Saturday, February 22nd at Westerville Central High School.
Last year we also completed much-needed renovations in the Youth, Teen and Adult areas
of the library. The increased customer interaction in the community-oriented Youth Services Department has yielded many positive comments by our customers. On time and on budget yielded a very positive comment by me.
This year will present some exciting changes as well. In February, the library will roll out a new
web site in development for over a year. We’re very excited that our new site will provide an amazon.com experience to you our customer. Also in February, we will install four new self-checkout machines. Besides being easier to use, the machines will recommend materials of similar interest to those you are checking out and offer to reserve the item in your name.
I thank you for another wonderful year at the Westerville Public Library and for a very
promising 2014. Your continued support is deeply appreciated.
- Don Barlow, Executive Director