Article by Tracee Davis
For The Sheridan Press
SHERIDAN — The Sheridan County library system estimates it hosted 170,102 visitors in the 2019 calendar year. Executive Director Cameron Duff said last year was one of increased usage in Sheridan as well as Story, Tongue River and Clearmont.
A total of 1,262 new library cards were issued throughout the county and 2,483 were purged due to not being used for three years. The total registered borrowers now sits at 12,122.
The total number of materials in the library’s inventory includes 134,437 physical items and 22,080 e-titles. The e-titles are shared between 10 county libraries around the state.
Total circulation was 323,149 items, which includes 48,610 electronic items, such as e-books, e-magazines, and e-videos. The remaining 274,539 items checked out were physical items, which would include books, DVDs and audio materials. During the year, 8,629 new materials were introduced into the library’s collection and 10,774 were retired.
The library’s annual operating budget was $1,529,000. Of that amount, $1,270,000 was tax dollars, $180,000 was money gifted via foundations, friends and trust accounts. The library also generated $79,000 in revenue and reserves, which includes $15,489 in late fees.
“Much of the year was spent fundraising for a new roof for the Fulmer Library,” Duff said, indicating that plans are in the works to launch a formal marketing and fundraising campaign for the cause. “That project will be ongoing for a few more years.”
The Wyoming Room spent the year maintaining its existing collection of historical items and cataloged more than 1,200 items. An additional 2,000 photo and journal entries donated by four families were digitized.
The room hosted 2,572 visitors. That number reflects researchers or those who come in to ask questions, but does not include those who come in to see the artwork or diorama.
Duff said 2019 brought notable staff changes that had a great impact on library employees and the people they serve. Judy Armstrong retired from her career in Homebound Services, and Marci Mock passed away after a brief illness.
“Losing both in completely different ways had a great impact on our staff,” Duff said. “One allowed staff to participate in a joyous occasion and the other caused grief that will be felt for years.”
Along with staff changes, Duff said a new group of young readers is making its way to the stacks.
“We saw a large increase in new families moving to Sheridan with young children,” Duff said. “It’s exciting for the children’s library to see the smiles on the faces of these new kids.”
In addition to continuing to offer new and different programming events, Duff said major goals for the Sheridan County Library System include expansion of e-book and audio services via consortium contracts with other Wyoming libraries.
The Fulmer library hosted 957 different meetings with 6,651 people in attendance.
The Inner Circle meeting area at the Fulmer library served as a venue for 148 meetings totaling 3,409 people in attendance.
Approximately 18 different art collections rotated through the facility’s display areas.