Annual Message to the Community
What a busy year we’ve had at the library! In 2022, our hard-working staff launched new initiatives, re-introduced pre-pandemic services, and were thrilled to see lots of patrons returning to visit.
We started off the year by launching our mobile app, to help our patrons access library services right from their phones. In keeping with our sustainability initiative, in the spring we hatched bobwhite quail to help restore this endangered native species; they were later released at the Longwood Estate. We also introduced our new collection of Citizen Science Kits, which allow ordinary people of any age to gather scientific information locally and share it with the global scientific community. In July, we celebrated the families with children who completed the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge over the last few years. During the summer, hundreds of patrons participated in various art programs—in the library or on their own—culminating in September’s BIG Tiny Art Show. This fantastic event, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, showed off 700 beautiful little canvases, with more than 400 people attending the show on a Friday evening. On that same night, we cut the ribbon on the makerLAB, a dedicated space for members of the Longwood community to invent, build, collaborate, and share skills. In September we also launched the Backyard Building Area, a collection of large wood building blocks with a cozy seating area for families with children. Later that fall, we were thrilled to re-introduce the Kovarik Author Series, back for the first time since 2019, with bestselling author Kate White. Finally, we wrapped up 2022 by releasing a unique digital collection that will serve as a primary resource for researchers: the digitized and transcribed Civil War letters of Middle Island’s own Bayles brothers.
In 2023, we’ve already jumped right into projects: we enhanced our mobile app with a new curbside pickup feature, and we coordinated local participation in the national Great Backyard Bird Count, a terrific example of citizen science at work.
A Few Statistics from 2022
- More than 495,000 physical items were checked out or renewed, an increase of 24% over the previous year. More than 165,000 eBooks, movies, music and audiobooks were streamed or downloaded, a 13% increase.
- Computers were used more than 30,000 times, and the library’s wireless network was accessed more than 112,000 times. These represent increases of 54% and 73% over the prior year.
- Library staff planned and produced 1,795 in-person or virtual programs with 34,137 attendees or viewers.
- Our new mobile app has already been launched more than 18,000 times.
What are we planning for the coming year?
- Bringing back our hugely popular family event, Life-sized Candyland, and introducing a new original show, Magic Treehouse the Musical!
- Expanding programs and services in the makerLAB
- Introducing a Community Resources informational fair
- Adding increased streaming time on Freegal, our free online music service
- Digitizing and transcribing more original local historical collections
- Starting a new partnership with Long Island Educational Opportunity (LIEOC) for English classes
- Reintroducing bus trips
- Collaborating with other Suffolk libraries on the Summer Library Tour
Long Range Plan of Service
This plan of service for 2022-2025 was approved by the Board of Trustees in December 2021.