Worthington residents trust the Library to make responsible financial decisions and to provide them with the maximum return on their investment in library services. We continually meet the "gold standard" for library planning, defined as 20% of a library's annual budget spent on materials. Worthington Libraries has spent an average of 22.6% of its annual budget on library materials since 1979.
Providing patrons with access to over 3.6 million items in the Discovery Place System, online resources available to anyone with an internet connection and quality programs for children, teens and adults are just a few of the ways we strive to meet the information needs of our community each day.
In 2006, the staff of Worthington Libraries planned 1,228 programs and outreach activities that were attended by 42,637 people. Our innovative programming is focused on meeting the needs of children and families, helping to prepare our youngest residents for a lifetime love of learning. We also introduced a teen blog and MySpace page in 2006, which helped us meet teens where they liveonline. Adults stay connected through book discussions, author events, film programs and the library's strong partnership with the business community.
Outreach activities, including the Ambassador Program, Homebound Program, school visits and our ongoing partnership with Slate Hill Elementary School and the Lazelle Woods Recreation Center to provide library service to northeast area residents, reached more than 11,000 people last year.
The Library also seeks to build and maintain community partnerships. In 2006, we partnered with more than 20 community organizations and businesses. Individual members of the library staff and board are currently affiliated with 119 community and professional organizations.
Library circulation continues to climb and shows no sign of slowing down. In 1991, Worthington Libraries ranked 20th in the state for circulation; in 2002, we moved to 11th place. In 2005, Worthington Libraries ranked 9th, behind only the eight metropolitan library systems, which have more branches and serve much larger populations.
In 2006, circulation totaled 2,632,136 items, an increase of 4% over 2005. In the last 10 years, circulation has more than doubled and has increased 150% since 1991.
Worthington Libraries is a recognized leader. Our library system is well managed and staffed by a tremendously talented and dedicated group of people who are passionate about delivering excellent library service. As such, we have a national reputation for creating innovative programs, building a sought-after collection of materials and introducing new services at just the right time. Examples:
Northwest Library opened in 1996 as a cooperative project of Columbus Metropolitan Library and Worthington Libraries. It is managed by Worthington Libraries. After more than 11 years, Northwest Library remains as one of only two libraries in the country to be operated by two library systems.
The library's 2005-2008 Strategic Plan was developed with input from over 100 community members. It was the foundation of the library's successful 2005 levy campaign and serves as the bedrock for all library planning, including the upcoming building renovations.
Library director Meribah Mansfield continually looks for ways to engage and challenge her staff. In 2006, the staff worked in groups to develop the New Customer Service Model, to explore merchandising opportunities for the library's collection and to revise the library's position descriptions. It was a tremendous amount of work, which they accomplished in only four months.
Launched in 2002, Worthington Memory is an online scrapbook of Worthington history and a cooperative project of Worthington Libraries and the Worthington Historical Society. It includes digital images of historic documents and photographs and a searchable online index to local 19th and 20th century newspapers.