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Worthington Libraries Annual Report - 2009
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Worthington Libraries Annual Report - 2009



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  • Matt:The Worthington Area 360 project started out as a discussion among colleagues. Melissa, Meribah and I routinely get together with key staff to share information and discuss issues that impact the community. During one of these discussions, Lisa Fuller, the library’s community relations director, asked if we would be interested in working together on a community strategic plan. The library was currently working to develop its next strategic plan, and I was interested in putting together a global strategic plan for the city. The schools were also interested in community feedback to assist with their longterm planning efforts.Although we would each develop individual strategic plans for our organizations, it made sense from both an economic and community perspective to gather information and engage in community conversation collectively.
  • Meribah:As Matt stated earlier, our work with consultants on an information-gathering process for strategic planning concluded with a Visioning Conference held on January 22-23. Over the course of two-days, more than 60 people, who were invited to attend, came together to discuss Worthington past, present and, most importantly, future. The group included representation from all areas of the school district as well as community organizations and the business community. They worked together to construct a shared vision for Worthington’s future. At the end of the conference, they came up with the following community vision statement:


  • 1. 2009
    Annual Report
  • 2. Message from the Director
    We thought 2009 was going to be a regrouping year when we could focus on “letting the dust settle” from our renovation and construction projects and gear up for a new strategic planning process.
    All was proceeding according to plan until June, when Governor Strickland proposed budget cuts that would have resulted in a projected 50 percent reduction in state funding for Ohio’s public libraries. Worthington Libraries helped to lead the way in organizing statewide community response to this proposal and, thanks to the outpouring of support from Ohio residents, libraries were spared the most devastating funding cuts (but still endured an 18 percent loss of state revenue in 2009).
    Finding and maintaining a stable source of revenue for public libraries remains a challenge and will certainly be part of the next state budget debate.
    Our library is in an enviable financial position, with two local property tax levies providing more than 60 percent of our revenue, but we are not impervious to funding cuts or revenue reductions resulting from the economy. We continue to scrutinize every dollar we spend and regard careful stewardship of taxpayer dollars as our primary responsibility.
    When I retire later this year (my last day is July 23, 2010), it will be hard to leave Worthington Libraries. The Library has good funding, unparalleled community support, state of the art facilities and a great collection. The best part, however, is the people: terrific staff, caring library trustees, active Friends members and wonderful library patrons. I’m proud of all we were able to accomplish together. Thank you for using the Library!
    --Meribah Mansfield
    Library director Meribah Mansfield with her family at the recent celebration of her wedding anniversary. From L to R: son Matt Mansfield, husband Bruce Mansfield, Meribah, daughter Jessica Mead (holding grandson Connor), and son-in-law Doug Mead (holding grandson Owen).
    Being able to spend more time with family is one of the reasons behind Meribah’s retirement decision. The other is that she is preparing to be ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church.
  • 3. Nationally Recognized
    2007 National Library of the Year
    Twice recognized by Library Journal as a five-star library (only 85 libraries in the country received a five-star rating)
    Rated as a top 10 Library in Hennen’s American Public Library Ranking
    Recipient of numerous awards for excellence in financial management and reporting
  • 4. Library Use
    70,202 people are registered borrowers of Worthington Libraries.
    In 2009, annual user visits to the Library totaled 1.6 million.
    Annual Web site visits totaled more than 1.5 million in 2009.
    The library’s annual Read to Your Baby festival, held each November at the Old Worthington Library, attracts hundreds of people, many of them parents with young children.
  • 5. Library Circulation
    Worthington Libraries circulation increased nearly 10 percent in 2009.
    We checked out more than 3.5 million items.
    Worthington Libraries is one of the highest circulating libraries in the state.
  • 6. Library Circulation in Millions
  • 7. Library Collection
    *Nearly three million items are available to patrons of Worthington Libraries through our partnership with Columbus Metropolitan Library and Southwest Public Libraries.
  • 8. Library Staff
    Worthington Libraries employs 146 people.
    32 people on staff have a Master of Library Science degree.
    The median age of the library’s leadership group, which consists of the administrative team, all professional librarians and the circulation managers, is 38.
    Some of the great people who work at Worthington Libraries. From left to right: Meredith Southard, Rachel Rubin,* Jen Bravard and Gwen Nzimiro.
    *Rachel Rubin left Worthington Libraries in early 2010. She is now director of the Bexley Public Library. She is the fourth staff member in the last three years to become director of another library system.
  • 9. LibraryFinances
    2009 Revenue
    2009 Operating Expenditures
  • 10. Library Stewardship
    In 2009, the Library completed its third Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (available at
    The Library received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.
    We were also presented with the “Making Your Tax Dollars Count” award from Auditor of State Mary Taylor.
    State Auditor Liaison John Levitt (middle), presented Worthington Libraries with two awards for excellence in financial accountability. Representing the Library (left to right): Sabra Lowe, senior finance specialist; Margaret Doone, business manager; Lynn Nadler, board president; and Meribah Mansfield, director/fiscal officer.
  • 11. Library Advocacy
    In June 2009, after Governor Strickland announced plans to reduce library funding by 30 percent (on top of an anticipated 20 percent loss), libraries took action, and Worthington Libraries led the way.
    Kara Reuter, digital library manager, created the logo at right, which became the statewide symbol for the advocacy campaign.
    Librarian Mandy Knapp created a Web site for the campaign,, which became a clearinghouse for information related to the statewide call for support. Mandy was recently named one of Library Journal’s “Movers & Shakers” as a result.
  • 12. Library Services
    External lockers enable patrons to pick up their materials when the Library is closed.
    Patrons can use instant messagingto communicate with and ask questions of library staff.
    Job Help Centers offer assistance to people looking for work.
    TheHomework Help Center at Worthington Park Library helps hundreds of students each year.
    Lockers located outside Old Worthington Library and Northwest Library make it easy for patrons to get their reserved items when the Library is closed.
  • 13. Outreach Services
    The Library visits preschools, daycare centers and private schools to present storytimes and to talk about library services, such as online homework help, the homework help center and the summer reading program.
    In 2009, the library presented 200 outreach programs and activities that reached a total of 11,000 participants.
    The Library delivers books and other materials to those who aren’t able to visit us in person.
    More than 2,300 items were delivered to homebound patrons in 2009.
    The 2009 Read Across America event held at the Worthington Community Center in partnership with the Worthington Education Foundation.
  • 14. Library Programming
    In 2009, Worthington Libraries presented more than 1,200 programs attended by approximately 35,800 people.
  • 15. Job Help Day
    In 2009, we partnered with four other library systems in Franklin County to present Job Help Day, a day-long series of programs and workshops designed to help job seekers.
    Nearly 1,000 people attended the event, which featured the participation of human resources and employment experts who donated their time and expertise.
    The second Job Help Day is scheduled for March 2010.
  • 16. Summer Reading Program
    Over 7,000 children participated in the summer reading program.
    Teen participants totaled 1,168.
    More than 1,200 adults participated in the program.
  • 17. Strategic Planning
  • 18. Worthington Area 360ºProcess
    In 2009, Worthington Libraries partnered with the City of Worthington and Worthington Schools to gather information from the community through a series of focus groups and surveys.
    Each organization would use the information gleaned from this process to develop an individual strategic plan and identify collaborative projects requiring joint support.
    The process also included a joint Visioning Conference, held in January 2010.
    A steering committee with representation from all three organizations and the wider community helped to guide the process.
  • 19. Worthington Area 360ºVisioning Conference
    Over 60 people attended this two-day conference.
    Representation from all areas of the school district.
    Worked to develop a shared vision for Worthington’s future.
    Visioning Conference Participants
  • 20. Worthington Area 360ºResults
    The Library is recognized as a community leader.
    There is concern about the future of library funding.
    Residents look to the library for computer/technology training.
    People would like us to engage more volunteers before we consider reducing service/cutting hours.
    Residents are pleased with the quality of life in Worthington
    Strong neighborhoods, accessibility and strong schools
    Ratings indicate the community is satisfied with the performance of core services among all three groups: city, library and schools.
    There is concern about school funding and city development (increasing business activity, etc.).
    Library Takeaways
    Community Takeaways
  • 21. Library Process
    We conducted our own patron survey and heard from nearly 6,000 registered borrowers, who helped us rank services and programs by personal and community importance.
    We also held two community forums to get face-to-face feedback from residents.
    All members of the library staff were encouraged to share their ideas through a “sticky-note session.”
  • 22. The Strategic Plan
    We used the information gathered during the Worthington Area 360° project and our own process to develop a 2010-2012 Strategic Plan for Worthington Libraries.
    The plan is available online at
    Major initiatives of the plan are focused on the areas of:
    Innovation and Learning
    Staff Development
  • 23. Partnerships
  • 24. Worthington Libraries partners with the Columbus Metropolitan Library in the operation of Northwest Library. The two libraries also share a catalog, providing patrons with access to nearly three million items, and partner in the presentation of the annual summer reading club for children.
    Columbus Metropolitan Library
  • 25. Each year, the Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries contributes more than $35,000 to support library programming and other initiatives. They also manage the Worthington Libraries Endowment Fund at The Columbus Foundation.
    Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries
    L to R: Friends Foundation Board members Myra Colflesh and Marilyn Carter and longtime book sale volunteer Irene Candy.
  • 26. Key Community Partners
    Worthington Schools
    City of Worthington
    Each year, Worthington Libraries partners with the Worthington Schools to present dozens of events and special programs to support and enhance the school curriculum. We work one-on-one with area educators to increase the success rate of students.
    In addition to working together to coordinate the Worthington Area 360° project, the Library regularly partners with the City of Worthington and its many agencies in the presentation of programs and events, such as the community’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
  • 27. Community Partnerships
    We also partner with a variety of community organizations in the presentation of programs and special events. In 2009, we partnered with the City of Worthington, Worthington Historical Society, Healthy Worthington, Mount Carmel Health and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce, among many others.
  • 28. Get Involved!
  • 29. Community Involvement
    Community involvement is part of our organizational culture, and everyone at the Library is encouraged to get involved with other community organizations. As a result, Worthington Libraries staff members are actively involved with more than 100 community and professional organizations. We make every effort to have library representation at all large community events.
    We also provide patrons with opportunities to help their neighbors in need. The Library is an active participant in the annual Warm Up! America event, which encourages residents to contribute knitted or crocheted afghan squares which are then made into complete blankets and donated to homeless shelters and other agencies.
    Teens contribute their time and talent to make holiday cards for the library’s homebound patrons and coordinate an annual fundraiser to benefit children living at the United Methodist Children’s Home.
    We are privileged to be part of such a caring and giving community.
    Worthington Libraries participates in the annual Memorial Day Parade, a community tradition (where dogs are also welcome! ).
  • 30. In 2009, volunteers donated 5,825 hours of service to Worthington Libraries.
    They provide help in all areas of the Library, from shelving books to assisting with programs.
  • 31. Library Volunteers in 2009
    Vicki Albright
    Patty Alexander
    Ellen Armstrong
    Cindy Ault
    Carol Barnum
    Thomas Bateman
    Janet Bauer
    Linda Behrendt
    Janet Brown
    Jae Bull
    Mathias Bustamante
    Nick Canale
    Cassie Clancy
    Gilda Cottrill
    Andrew DePaul
    Ying Dong
    Anne Doyle
    Caitlin Dunbar
    Mary Fulkert
    Diane Gervais
    Michelle Larrimer
    Del Lavely
    Shana Lear
    Jane Lee
    Tara Lichtenberg
    Sharon Link
    Paula McCaw
    Lynn Nadler
    Jennifer Neruda
    Jennifer Pawley
    Debbie Perrin
    Janet Piero
    Shonali Raney
    Nancy Robbins
    Linda Roberts
    Linda Sexton
    Janet Spray
    Jeffrey Strasser
    Carol Sullivan
    Lisa Tomashuk
    Ray Traub
    Alicia Vandenberg
    Kay Vermilion
    Tawny Wells
    Amie Wenger
    Debbie Wilner
    Kathleen Yeso
    Worthington AM Rotary
    Jeanne Gissel
    Joanna Gleason
    David Goldberger
    Patty Harwood
    James Hill
    Bob Hollinger
    Susie Hubacher
    Takae Ibaraki
    Anthony Jarrell
    Martin Jenkins
    Mike Jones
    Stacy Kafun
    Lucy Kaminski
    Jieun Kang
    Quinton Kiser
    Ron Koncal
    Brent Krumenacker
    Dan Lacey
    Michelle Larrimer
    Interested in volunteering?
    Call Lindsey Smith
    at 807-2643.
  • 32. Library Donors
    The following people and organizations made contributions to Worthington Libraries in 2009. Their generosity will help preserve library service for future generations.
    Rachel Alexander
    Mary Angeletti
    Elaine M. Barrick
    Janet A. Bauer
    Jim & Margaret Beehler
    Pamela Bernstock
    Susan Branch
    Megan Brown
    Rebecca Campbell
    C. Myra Colflesh
    Sharon & Danny Cvetanovich
    Miriam Davis
    Karen and Jim Durrant
    Marion and Lawrence Fisher
    Randy A. Foster
    David Goldberger & Abigail Harding
    Richard & Susan Greenway
    Roger & Barbara Guess
    Lois Harris
    Gail & Steve Highley
    Deborah Holtz
    Gary Hoover
    Mr. & Mrs. Philip Kiep
    Susan & Jack McKenna
    Anne S. McIntyre
    Karen Moon
    Eleanor O’Shea
    James & Martha Owens
    Frank & Janet Oyster
    Patricia Parren
    Sara Robinson
    Nancy Schucker
    Pam DeLille Sheets
    Joy B. Shelton
    John & Cathy Sonnhalter
    Allison Sonnhalter
    The Tyree Family
    Kathleen Walsh
    Patricia Wax
    Fred Yeager & Lisa Staggenborg
    David Yee
    Air Force One
    The Betty Jane Meyer Fund
    DeVry University
    Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries
    HMAR Automotive
    William C. Myers & Daughters
    Northwest Library Staff
    Wednesday Literary Club
    Worthington AM Rotary
    Worthington Kilbourne Band Boosters
  • 33. Library Board & Administration
    Lynn Nadler, President
    Dan Lacey, Vice President
    James Hill, Secretary
    Janet Brown
    Anne Doyle
    David Goldberger
    Dawn Valasco
    Meribah Mansfield, Director/Fiscal Officer
    Kristin Shelley, Deputy Director
    Margaret Doone, Business Manager
    Lisa Fuller, Director of Community Relations & Development
    Susan Allen, Director of Technology Services
    Phyllis Winfield, Human Resources Manager
    Pam Beretich, Executive Assistant
    Library Managers
    Monica Baughman, Old Worthington Library Manager
    Wendy Rawson, Northwest Library Manager
    Amy Brown, Worthington Park Library Manager
    Kara Reuter, Digital Library Manager
    Board of Trustees
    Administrative Staff