Stats or More Grouchiness

The last 2 weeks of writing were easy.  Just share what my staff does, the hardest part being to include everything without filling the whole newspaper.  Today I struggle with sharing stats or being grouchy again.  The grouchiness thing is spreading, this “every Wednesday snow” thing, muddy roads, no sun and potholes is wearing on everyone.  The worse part of being grouchy is that it makes it hard to be kind.  The saving factor is that I notice people around me seem to be aware of it, maybe my “preaching” is being heard, even by me.

Monday was exceptional.  I watched someone, not in the library, tell someone that their policy was dumb.  Dang, girl, that is mean!  Dumb, really?  The beautiful part was watching the other person take the high road, they helped the individual, and only gave me a little side look of “can you believe this.”  Then last night, my mom ordered a pizza, they lost the order.  Not a huge deal, but this is not the first time it has happened to her.  When she got to the house, she looked at me and said “I was nice and stayed calm, I even told the guy it was okay.”  So today I want to rant, but just consider this my side look at you, we are going with stats and we just briefly recognized that being a nice human being is hard. 

You already know that I love stats.  Looking at numbers are the best part of my job.  I love running reports!  Each year we are required by the state library to submit an annual report.  In 2017 I decided to step up my game.  I think before that time we just submitted a budget report and a short letter.  My reports started in a newsletter format, now I just simplify if with stats and fun graphs and images.  We recently shared the report on our Facebook page and it is posted on our bulletin board.  Today I will share some of it with you and some extras I didn’t include in this year’s report. 

The money saved by our members by borrowing items vs. buying them, $5,081,924.64.  AHHHMAZING!  This amount does not include our digital resources, only physical items.  The actual amount spent on all library items, $54,631.46.  No doubt that is a great return on our investment. 

Total circulation for 2019 was 88,286.  In 2016 our circulation was 75,795.  Libraries are still being used and we are even showing growth, that doesn’t make me grouchy at all!

We had 110 programs with 2,024 attendees.  That shows an average of 18 people per program.  This is when stats lie, yes, 18 is the average, but it makes us think that attendance is equal, it is not.  Not trying to be irritable, but not all programs are equal in attendance.  Summer reading program represented 579 of the 2,024 and story time had 700.  The average attendance for those Wednesday events is 24, their numbers are carrying us.  Book Club had 48 attendees for 12 events, yep, 4 in attendance is the average.  This is the struggle of all libraries, programming attendance.  We just never know and we compete against some great things, so we don’t get too sad or grouchy, we just plug on.  This year we had the biggest attended event since I have been here, 61 people at trivia night.  Trust me, we will do that one again! 

I was going to share some numbers concerning our expenditures.  But, to be honest, I would have let my Oscarness show.  If you want to see the numbers, come by and check out our bulletin, if you have questions, please ask.  But my frown just got turned upside down.  I just finalized our last presenter for Summer Reading Program.  We have an internationally bestselling author, winner of an International Thriller Writers Award and a Silver Falchion Award for best first novel, and an International Thriller Writers Award finalist for best novel that will be conducting our opening writing workshop on June 5th.  I was so excited I hunted down each of my employees to tell them. 

Things get better.  I started the morning looking at goofy TikToks to get myself in a better place and a few hours later an email just drops in lap and Big Bird replaces Oscar as I bounce through the library with my hair flopping about just like that yellow happy bird.