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:
2009 Annual Report
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.
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
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.
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.
Library Collection *Nearly three million items are available to patrons of Worthington Libraries through our partnership with Columbus Metropolitan Library and Southwest Public Libraries.
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.
Library Stewardship In 2009, the Library completed its third Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (available at worthingtonlibraries.org/CAFR). 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.
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, saveohiolibraries.com, 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.
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.
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.
Library Programming In 2009, Worthington Libraries presented more than 1,200 programs attended by approximately 35,800 people.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.”
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 worthingtonlibraries.org Major initiatives of the plan are focused on the areas of: Stewardship Innovation and Learning Services Staff Development
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
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.
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.
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.
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! ).
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. Volunteers
Library Volunteers in 2009 ViranderAiri Vicki Albright Patty Alexander Ellen Armstrong Cindy Ault Carol Barnum Thomas Bateman Janet Bauer Linda Behrendt Janet Brown Jae Bull Mathias Bustamante Nick Canale AlamuChockalingam 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 BethAnnSigrist 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 BronwynnHopton Susie Hubacher MassarathHydari Takae Ibaraki Anthony Jarrell Martin Jenkins Mike Jones Stacy Kafun Lucy Kaminski Jieun Kang VijayamKeezhpattillathu Quinton Kiser Ron Koncal Brent Krumenacker Dan Lacey Michelle Larrimer Interested in volunteering? Call Lindsey Smith at 807-2643.
Library Donors The following people and organizations made contributions to Worthington Libraries in 2009. Their generosity will help preserve library service for future generations. Individuals 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 GopiPacamaner 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 Organizations Air Force One The Betty Jane Meyer Fund DeVry University Friends Foundation of Worthington Libraries HMAR Automotive William C. Myers & Daughters Northwest Library Staff Target Wednesday Literary Club Worthington AM Rotary Worthington Kilbourne Band Boosters
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