The Delaware County District Library recently released its annual report for 2021 and added there’s exciting new developments in store for 2022.
The annual report was released on the district’s website and distributed via its newsletter. The report gives numerical breakdowns for various programs and operations at the library last year.
According to the report, 1,261,383 physical items were circulated within the library system last year with 259,655 visitors going to the library in person after the DCDL opened its doors at all branches on March 2. The library reported that 26.5% of those transactions were down via curbside pick or via drive-thru at the Orange Branch with a total of 279,483 items checked out via curbside/drive-thru.
The library reports it hosted 167 in-person programs that had a total of more than 5,000 attendees. The library also partnered with the Delaware Public Health District to distribute more than 25,000 at-home COVID-19 tests.
Nicole Fowles, communications coordinator for the Delaware County District Library, said 2021 was “definitely different” for the library but the pandemic gave the library some new partnerships and opportunities as well.
“Obviously, we were trying some new things and established new partnerships,” Fowles said. “Never in our imaginations did we imagine that we would be a public partner with passing out COVID test kits. … It was an opportunity to take a burden off of a community partner. That’s one thing we’re really proud of.”
Fowles added the library also partnered with Delaware City Schools, OhioHealth Chiller North and the City of Powell to continue storytimes in bigger spaces that would allow for social distancing.
“One of the things I think we were most proud of is the relationships we already had in the community and how we were able to work together and have mutually beneficial programs and opportunities for our community,” Fowles said. “We really all pulled together to benefit our community the best we could.”
Fowles said the 26% of transactions that happened curbside or at the drive-thru also altered the library’s plans for its upcoming Liberty Branch, which will now have a drive-thru. Fowles said library patrons can expect the service to continue for the foreseeable future.
“(Curbside) won’t be going away any time soon,” she said. “It’s going to be something we incorporate into all of our branches going forward.”
Fowles said the Liberty Branch is expected to open this fall.
The other big change on the horizon for the library is the departure of Director George Needham, who announced his retirement earlier this year, effective in September. Fowles said the search for a new director is ongoing.
Between the new building, new staff and upcoming programs, Fowles said there’s plenty to look forward to at the library.
“(We’re focused on) getting our feet back into the things we were already doing and finding the best way to do them,” Fowles said. “We’re really excited for what’s to come.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.