Letter from our Executive Director: Reflecting on 2019

From technology training to homework help, automatic renewal to home deliveries, the Westerville Public Library spent 2019 creating opportunities for you to level up your life.

Tackle Technology

Renovations of the second floor and media area added bright colors, ergonomic furniture, more seating, and new flooring to these well-loved spaces.

These changes made way for new technologies, including the recently opened Innovation Lab. Adding to the growing popularity of our 3D printing and technology training services, this space encourages our community to tackle technology challenges with hands-on learning. From podcasts to prototypes, virtual tours to video games, you can come here to create your passion project and discover unique ways to tell your story.

Gain a Competitive Edge

Throughout the year, people used the library to gain a competitive edge by holding 7,934 meetings, attending 86 job-help events, borrowing wi-fi hotspots 631 times, and visiting the homework help center 1,723 times.

Find Your Voice

A new exhibit – Prohibition: Expectation vs. Reality - opened in the Westerville History Center & Museum (which hosted over 12,000 visits in 2019). There is no better example of passionate activism than Westerville’s unique role in persuading the nation to vote themselves dry 100 years ago. The museum exhibit delves into the unintended consequences and unexpected outcomes of the era, revealing many comparisons to modern society.

The unwavering popularity of the library’s Meet the Authors series continued in 2019, with 2,969 people in attendance. Well-known authors like Jason Reynolds (recently named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature), V.E. Schwab, Zadie Smith, and Jeff Shaara inspired a love of reading, expanded understanding, and energized community conversations.

Unlock Your Potential

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, 3,778 people “blasted off” with a space-themed reading program and read an average of 12 books each over the summer.

In addition, the library delivered 108,693 items to 122 different locations around town, distributed 38,800 free books, and participated in 718 community events around town. Small changes to the event schedule increased access to storytimes for busy parents by 28% in 2019. Other meaningful additions to the events calendar include mindful breathing and time slip programs for seniors.

To top off the year, a 30-foot, smoke-breathing dragon (!) roared from the library’s roof, keeping a watchful eye on State Street while welcoming over 3,000 visitors to the Wizards & Wands Festival. Brought to life by The Point at Otterbein University, Hilda the Dragon is an art installation that is expected to make a recurring appearance for this annual event.

Look to the Future

As we look to the future, we envision a community where equal and convenient access to knowledge creates limitless potential. In 2020, we are excited to offer even more opportunities for you to level up your life.

For an in-depth look at the numbers, view our annual report.

 

Erin Francoeur
Executive Director (February 10, 2020)

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