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Words from the Owen County Public Library

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By The Staff

October is National Book Month, and we’re celebrating here at your public library with lots of new books and a whole lot more.

Last week, I shared with you a sampling of all of the different services your library offers to the community. Whether you’re a parent, student, jobseeker, professional, historian or senior, we have something to offer you. And we’re so happy to report that you are taking advantage of the library. Here are just a few quick facts about library use this year:

• We had 57,719 visits to the library. That’s just over 158 visits every day!

• If Owen County citizens had individually paid for every item borrowed or event attended last year, it would have cost an estimated $1.6 million.

• During the past 10 years, the number of computer sessions in the library has grown from 2,203 in 1999 to 20,447 in 2009.

Those are some really exciting numbers that show just how much you value your library. However, we have some challenges ahead in meeting your needs.

• Our square footage of 4,650 hasn’t changed since 1973. This affects how many books we can store, computers we can offer and work areas we can provide.

• Our meeting room holds 50 people, but program attendance regularly exceeds 50 and we have to limit the number of attendees.

• The population in Owen County is expected to grow from 11,390 now to 14,911 by 2020. According to the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives’ standards, square footage should be at least 10,438 square feet in 2020 with 22 parking spaces, in addition to staff parking.

The bottom line is that in order to meet your needs today and in the future, the library will need more space. More space will result in better services. The great news is that the community recognized this need during a long-range planning process conducted in 2007. If you are interested in seeing this plan, go to our Web site – www.owencountylibrary.org – and click on the tab labeled “About Us.” Copies can also be obtained at the library.

We are planning for your future success.

Jennifer Nippert is the director of the Owen County Public Library.