Oscar Grady Library busier than ever

Circulation, collections showed significant growth in 2018, annual report states
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Oscar Grady Library in Saukville is busier than ever in terms of circulation and program attendance by children and adults, according to the 2018 report submitted to the village’s Library Board Tuesday night.

According to the annual report from Library Director Jen Gerber, total circulation was up 2.75% to 75,923, driven by an 8.4% jump in children’s circulation to 36,425.

“In a community of 4,000 people, that’s pretty awesome. That number continues to rise,” Gerber said.

The library’s collection of books in print now numbers 47,506, up 3,168; videos number 6,361, up 740; and e-books number 151,392. The library website gets 80 visits a day.

Total attendance at library programs was up 12% to 5,723, most of it in children’s programs that drew 4,540 children, up 3.1%.

But attendance in young adult programs was up 57% to 359 and adult programs attendance was up 66.5% to 824.

“A big part of that success (in adult attendance)  is our senior story time,” in which library staff read short stories. “It’s a full house every time,” Gerber said.

And it’s not just village residents who are checking out all those books and attending programs.

Library circulation to non-village residents in 2018 totaled 42,596. Of those, 20,881 involved people from communities with their own libraries and 17,872 were from areas without libraries. 

“That’s really high. Even if they have a library in their own town, they are still coming to us,” Gerber said, attributing that to the quality of the library’s programs and services.

The library finished the year about $3,000 in the black, spending $350,517 and receiving $353,935 in funding — $268,378 in village support,  $77,314 from Ozaukee County for patrons who live in unlibraried areas outside the village, such as the Town of Saukville, and $3,644 from Sheboygan, Waukesha and Washington counties for patrons who live in those counties. Fines, fees and other income totaled $4,599.

The village upped its support of the library in 2019 to $274,802.

The largest budget expense of the library was $190,978 in employee salaries and benefits. The library spent $43,000 on print materials, $1,275 on e-books, $9,221 to the Monarch Library System for licenses, fees and services, and $4,096 on other materials.

The Monarch Library System is a consortium of 33 libraries in Ozaukee, Dodge, Sheboygan and Washington counties.

Patrons of those libraries are able to use each library in the system and borrow materials online. 

The Oscar Grady Library loaned out 16,855 items through the system, up 29% from the previous year while 14,251 items were received through the system.

“We are a net lender, by far,” Gerber said. “If you are a net borrower, I interpret that to mean that you are not meeting the needs of your community,” Gerber said.

Gerber’s report was well-received by board members, who applauded when she concluded.

“I just love hearing our annual report. Every year it gets better and better,” board Chairman Sonia Lear said.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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