On Thursday, December 31, Meeteetse will have Bedtime Stories to help “Put 2020 to Rest.” Starting at 3:00 and running every half hour until 4:30, Meeteetse’s littlest patrons can wear their pajamas, bring a favorite blanket, and drink Sleepytime Tea with their parents. We’re ready to start a new year, how about you?
You checked out more free digital audiobooks, eBooks, movies, music, comics and television shows from the library this year. Total items circulated from July 2019 to June 2020 (fiscal year 2020) exceeded 27,000. A spike in use began in March when the libraries closed to the public.
The libraries have been trending to a more online presence. Digital items don’t need to be processed or shelved. They can’t be overdue or damaged. So, when the pandemic kept people home, users logged into their remote library. See parkcountylibrary.org/research for details.
Wyoming State Library administers RBDigital for more than 100 Wyoming libraries. Park County saw 18,542 audiobooks and magazines checked out, a 28% increase in fiscal year 2020. However, due to a merger with Overdrive, on Oct. 1 RBDigital will be discontinued. Beginning Sept. 16, all purchased content will be migrated to the Cloud Library.
Unfortunately, there is no platform to host the magazines that were available on RBDigital. WSL will investigate alternatives for supporting this service if the budget allows. Park County users read more than 3000 magazines last year.
Cloud Library checkouts totaled 10,990 in fiscal year 2020. This is a 20% increase over four years. Cloud Library is a WSL audiobook and eBook app.
The Park County Library Foundation, which is directly funded by community support, purchased a Hoopla subscription in June 2019. Checkouts began with three per patron per month. In March, 2020 the limit was increased to five.
Hoopla is a pay per view service. For the purpose of budgeting, Hoopla currently has a $1500 per month cap.
Circulation for fiscal year 2020 totaled 7732 audiobooks, eBooks, movies, music, comics and television shows. Audiobooks were consistently the most popular download. Many people took advantage of Hoopla bonus borrows this spring. Bonus borrows offered items which did not count against the monthly allowance.
The total digital circulation for all three libraries was 37,264 items in fiscal year 2020. Circulation of physical material was 282,400 for the same period.
The librarians have long been on a mission to empower users with the knowledge to get the most out of their devices and to help them successfully download the digital content the library offers. Now, we can do it at a safe distance with screen mirroring software called View Share. Ask us for details.
“Let us know if you need assistance setting up or using any of the digital services. We can often walk you through over the phone or are glad to help in person,” Nicholle Gerharter said. Gerharter manages the Cody Library.
A tradition of kindness continues in the Cody library. Social distancing will be practiced. Please wear a mask.
Kids’ Summer Reading will culminate in a Kindness celebration. Drop by between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7 on the west lawn of the children’s library.
Find out how many kindness tickets were earned for each project, receive a goody bag and tattoo, plus spot the library unicorn. Ruth Torrey sent two dollar bill bookmarks to give away. She and her late husband Peter have donated thousands of two dollar bills over the years. D.J. Shuman will create balloon art from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Participants received tickets for reading, being read to and completing related activities. Those tickets were placed in receptacles for two Kindness Projects; Special Olympics of Wyoming, featuring our own Emma Foley, and the Cody Covid Relief Fund which is an interfaith organization formed to help local people struggling to pay bills during the pandemic.
Past kindness endeavors include the Park County Animal Shelter, Silas Johnson and Noah Rivers’ family medical expenses, the music park in City Park and the Cody High School band.
Teens congregated on the Bistro Patio Saturday Aug. 1. Prizes were awarded and a good time was had by all.
Karen Horner has been selected by the library board as the new system director. The following conversation is an introduction to Karen. Send your questions for the director to [email protected]
PCL: Tell us about yourself and why you applied to be director of the library system.
KH: Hello, my name is Karen Horner and I am extremely excited to be the new County Library Director for Park County. I have a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. My Bachelor’s Degree from Oregon State University is in Agriculture, I specialized in Wildland/Rangeland Management.
Born and raised in California, I have lived in various areas of Northern and Central California, Tennessee, Arkansas and Hawaii. My family and I have been wanting to leave California for some time, but wanted to relocate to an area that would suit our lifestyle. I was happy to find the Park County Library Director job posting, as Wyoming was a state to which we were most interested in relocating. Availability of librarian jobs in Wyoming are not very common so I knew I had to jump at the chance for this opportunity.
PCL: Tell us about your family.
KH: My family includes my husband Marty, we have been together for over 30 years. We have 2 children, my son Jake and my daughter Megan. Marty has worked as a carpenter for decades, is a member of the local volunteer fire department, and has recently returned to college to enter the medical field. He is looking forward to the hunting and fishing in Wyoming. Jake is currently a college student and works as a Firefighter, while Megan is a high school senior who is very involved in FFA and loves sports. Our family is very close knit and excited to relocate to Park County.
PCL: Describe your career and how your experience in Mendocino County prepared you for the challenges Park County presents.
KH: Currently, I am the Cultural Services Agency Director and County Librarian for Mendocino County, CA. I oversee 5 library branches, Bookmobile and Outreach Mobile Unit, County Museum, and all County Parks.
Mendocino County is a very large, geographically isolated area of Northern California. Most of my branches are an hour and half apart and require traveling through mountain roads to access. Each of my branches represents a different community geographically and characteristically. They enjoy their independence and individuality. In my current position I report to five elected Board of Supervisors that each represent a district in the County. My position requires me to wear different hats, working with 2 different advisory boards, 6 different Friends of the Library groups, along with serving on the County Executive Leadership Team. I regularly visit all branches and stay active with each community in the county, actively participating in county events, town programs and connecting with other organizations and groups in the community. Like Park County, Mendocino County is rural, geographically isolated from other areas, and each of its communities have a strong sense of individuality. I am prepared to lead Park County Library, as I bring an approachability, common sense and understanding that the library is meant
to serve all the communities. I am familiar with budgetary concerns, bringing the library to the community and dealing with conflicting ideas of libraries. The goal is to make sure the library is serving the whole community and working together for the success of Park County.
PCL: Describe your familiarity with Wyoming.
KH: I have been a lifelong fan of Wyoming and it has always been on my list of states I would like to move too. I have visited Wyoming a few times, my first visit being in 1989 to Cody as a tourist. The culture and lifestyle in Wyoming seems to suit my family as we appreciate the isolation and ruggedness of Wyoming.
PCL: How does Park County fit your lifestyle?
KH: As the new County Library Director for Park County, I am excited to relocate to an area that I feel will be a better fit for myself and my family. It was evident from visiting Cody, Powell and Meeteetse that Park County will provide the lifestyle my family and I seek. We are from small rural areas of California and appreciate the small towns of Park County, while still providing all the amenities we would need. We currently have to drive over an hour and half to go to the nearest Wal-Mart and do any major shopping. The sense of adventure, the openness of the land, the opportunity for outdoor activities which we enjoy; fishing, hunting, gardening and the opportunity to connect with an active, friendly and independent community is something that life in Park County can provide.
PCL: How do you see the future of the system?
KH: We are definitely in unusual times. This year saw libraries throughout the country close down, which was something I thought we would never see. Throughout the country, we are now exploring the future of public libraries and how they will move forward. As our community work places change, the delivery of how we acquire information, and even how education is delivered, public libraries will continue to be the hub of the community, a place where people can access not only information online, but can access materials, books, and connect to their community. When everything else is changing, the library will still be the bastion of familiarity, and become even more relevant in serving their communities beyond online services. I think public libraries will steer away from the past trend of centralization and streamlining, instead will become more indicators of their community, serving specific needs and interests of their patrons.
PCL: What else should the people of Park County know about you?
KH: Well, I really don’t like talking about myself, but overall I think most people will find me easy going and friendly. I look forward to connecting with everyone and becoming part of the community. I really want the library to reach out more and branch out into different parts of the public. My family and I are looking forward to moving and being in an area of the country with like-minded values and settling down to enjoy ourselves.
Thank you to the library board of directors and the staff committee for your diligence in filling this vital position in spite of challenging times.