Things We Found While We Were Cleaning
We currently have a spring cleaning team working to go through the whole library and do some cleaning, organizing, and disposing of things we don't need anymore. We've gotten a little crowded here, and this is a big step in tackling that issue. An unexpected bonus has been that we have found the coolest things as we've gone along. For instance, we found a whole file of photographs from when the building was new, like this great shot of the children's area:
Our librarian in charge of local history, Alicia Reinhardt, recently did a presentation for our staff and board about the history of the library, during which I learned how in January 1979, community volunteers moved all the books from the old location in the town hall to the brand-new library. Here's a photo of that:
This is one of those cases where sometimes a picture can convey more than words, because when Alicia said that the volunteers moved the books in January, it didn't compute with me that the weather might be snowy, but, clearly, it was. What you're looking at right there is dedication.
Building a new library involves a lot of planning, and some of that involves looking at your current use and projecting what your use might be in the future, and back in the day, they put years of thought into this building before it became a reality. We found a whole file of documents related to this planning, which included this chart that depicts the library's total number of checkouts from 1955-1963 and then projecting into 1964 and 1965:
As you can see, Henrietta was growing rapidly during these years. To put this in context, we now have over 40,000 residents, and last year we had 217,178 people visit the library and check out 474,770 items.
While some things were informative, others were just fun, like this summer reading log from 1963:
Isn't it adorable? I love the art so much, and it's not even attributed.
We're still busy cleaning here, so perhaps we'll find some more fun things I can share.