It is hard for me to believe this will be my last posting. I will be retiring on June 1st after the privilege of twenty-eight years serving as your Executive Director. My time here has been the most rewarding, challenging and exhilarating of my professional life.
Presenting t-shirt to a customer when library reached one million circulation, 1991
Levy campaign, 1995
75th anniversary of the Westerville Public Library, 2005
I have been honored to work with passionate people who invest in making our community an even better place to live, work and play. From the board members, staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly for the success of our beloved library and community to the remarkable young staff members who inspire me with their wonder and passion for our future, I am grateful to the countless people who have taught me so much.
The Westerville Public Library is an amazing place. I love the way we helped invent and popularize a full range of library services, the bigness and boldness of our ideas, and our willingness to accept and embrace our employees’ range of talents and capabilities. I love the way we work with other partners to enhance our community and succeed together. And I love the breadth and diversity of our customers, people of all backgrounds and age groups.
Receiving the Hall of Fame Librarian Award, 2013
With filmmaker Ken Burns and director/producer Lynn Novick, 2011
At In-Service Day with library staff, 2015
I am proud of what we have achieved. We have grown from a small community library to a nationally recognized library system, consistently ranked among the very best in the country. I am excited by our continuing mission of empowering the community and customers and believe strongly in our library’s future success. The privilege of leading this organization is an honor I will always cherish.
The Westerville Public Library has once again been recognized as a Five-Star Library by Library Journal. This year 7,349 public libraries nationwide qualified to be rated in the LJ Index of Public Library Service. This figure is somewhat lower than last year’s, due in part to the introduction of the new output measure, e-circ. Only 85 libraries were awarded a five-star rating, placing Westerville in the top 1% of the nation’s public libraries.
This prestigious and very welcome recognition is awarded to libraries that are the heaviest used and most cost-efficient in the nation. Ratings are determined by community support, number of library visits, items borrowed, program attendance, computer usage and cost per capita.
We are grateful and humbled by this national recognition. We also have a deep and sincere appreciation for our role in the community, our customers, the Library Board of Trustees, an outstanding staff and our wonderful community partners that continually contribute to our success.
Our library is also recognized as one of the 2016 Best Employers in Ohio by the Society for Human Resource Management. The library was ranked 14th in the small and medium employer category for organizations with 50-300 employees. We are proud of this rating and the dedicated staff members who make our library one of the best in the nation.
I am writing to let you know that I will retire as Executive Director of the Westerville Public Library on May 31, 2017, after a successor is chosen. There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time.
For the past twenty-eight years, I have had the privilege to serve as your Executive Director. My time here has been the most rewarding, challenging, and exhilarating of my professional life. I have been honored to work with passionate people who invest in making our community an even better place to live, work and play. I am enormously proud of the work we’ve done together over the last 28 years.
Don Barlow, library director, presenting a t-shirt to a customer when the library reached one million circulation in 1991.
We have grown from a small community library to a nationally recognized library system, consistently ranked among the very best in the country. I feel good about playing a role in that success and committed 100 percent of my energies to that success. I am excited by our continuing mission of empowering the community and customers, and believe strongly in our future success.
I am grateful to the countless people I have worked with during my time here who have taught me so much. They have been passionate board members, staff and volunteers who love our community and have worked tirelessly for the success of our beloved library. I'm also indebted to our remarkable young staff members who inspire me with their wonder and passion for our future.
The privilege of leading this organization is an honor I will always cherish.
The Westerville Public Library is continuing to be much more than a place to find books, eBooks, DVDs and CDs. We are a community-gathering place and go well beyond the traditional role of a public library. The library is in the process of developing and implementing an Innovation and Imagination Center, commonly referred to as Maker Spaces. 3D Printing, laser engraving, sewing, button makers, banner printers, or any other special projects you may have can be accomplished at your library.
Photo of figures created using the library's 3D printing service.
You're only limited by your imagination. We can even help you with that! As you join us on our journey, you do so with the deep appreciation and gratitude of the library board and staff. We could never achieve our goals without your continued support and encouragement.Mar 252016
Over the last few months you may have wondered what the carts and power cords throughout the library were all about. We are about to achieve another long-term goal of ours; placing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips in all of the library’s materials. No longer needing the line of sight required by barcodes, staff and customers will be able to check out 4-5 items at a time. The new chip technology will also greatly enhance the library's efficiency so staff have more time to spend with you, the customer.
In the next week or two, you will notice new security gates as you enter and leave the library. This is also a product of the new chip technology.
More effective security will drastically reduce library loss from theft and the inadvertent failure to check materials out, providing much better inventory control of library materials. The library is also installing an Automatic Material handling System. The new system will give the customer a receipt for the times you return to the library. The system will consist of 9 bins, automatically sorting items, which reduces staff time and allows us to get your reserves faster and books back on the shelf quicker.
You may have seen a lot of activity behind the library the last couple of months. We are at long last in the process of achieving one our long-term goals of additional parking. In partnership with the City of Westerville, we are adding a little over 100 additional parking spaces. This will make using the library even more convenient and also help with Uptown parking for the city’s many events and our Uptown shoppers.
Construction in progress, March 29, 2016.
We thank the public for your patience. It's never a bad thing when a public library needs more parking!