By Tonya West
For Hometown News
On Jan. 22, libraries across Florida asked patrons, "How does the library help you?"
A dozen branches in Volusia County participated and will be submitting their statistics, which get added to the state's overall results. Everything from the number of visitors to the number of job seekers will be tallied.
For Volusia County, Lucinda Collee, library director, and Karen Poulsen, support services manager, manage the incoming data. Ms. Poulsen visited libraries on Snapshot Day to take pictures and a fun video of a line dancing session at the Deltona Regional Library that captured the spirit of the day.
A project of the Volusia County Public Library and Florida Library Association, results are for promotional purposes to stimulate awareness for everything our libraries are doing for people.
"The library is important," said Stacy Hutchins, assistant regional librarian at Daytona Beach Regional Library on City Island. "It's filling a lot of needs beyond just entertainment, beyond something to watch, something to read or basic study materials for GED. We do a lot more than that nowadays. We have an extensive collection of databases that people can log into, for instance."
The list of databases one can access online with a library card and PIN number is staggering. A complete Chilton Library, for example, is positively handy for the do-it-yourself car repair person. There are academic and peer review journals, culinary arts, a generous amount of genealogy databases and Mango, a database of 50 different languages.
At the time of this writing, four regional libraries had chronicled a day in the life of their library and reported their statistics. Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Edgewater and Port Orange were among the first of the 13 branches reporting in. Deland Regional Library was closed for renovations, so there will be statistics from the remaining 12 branches.
Ormond Beach's Assistant Regional Librarian Kristine Crane said 1,242 people visited the library that day including 288 to use the computers, 70 to attend children's programs and 14 to attend the young adult program. In all, they answered 300 reference questions compared to 178 last year.
Ms. Poulsen shared an interesting comparison about the Daytona Beach library. Even though it was a "slow program day," the library recorded 2,645 visitors this year on Snapshot Day compared to 1,683 last year. They answered 260 reference questions this year compared to 195 last year; and they assisted 21 with government program benefits compared to 10 last year.
Edgewater Regional Library was steady in its stats, recording 402 visitors this year compared to a little over 440 last year.
Interesting comments from patrons across Volusia County were also gathered and will be shared on the state and regional websites. While one member of the Turner Family in Port Orange reported enjoying reading to Carly the Dog, here are a few more comments from Port Orange to give you an idea how your sharing of information helps the libraries help you:
"The library enabled me to read material that I'm interested in and can't afford to purchase. It offers many community events. I always feel calm after visiting. Libraries rock!" wrote Diane Howley, Port Orange.
"The library has helped my granddaughter to interact with other children in a way that she was unable to do before attending. I enjoy it just as much as she does. She has made a variety of new friends, is very happy. The instructors are outstanding," wrote Phyllis Toote-Spurling, Port Orange.
Results for the following libraries will be forthcoming: DeBary Public, Deltona Regional, John H. Dickerson Heritage, Lake Helen Public, New Smyrna Regional, Oak Hill, Orange City and Pierson Public. Statistics will be compiled and made available on the Florida Library Association website: flalib.org/snapshot_day.
To see if a snapshot was taken of you at your favorite Volusia County library, visit facebook.com/volusialibrary.