Library celebrates one year at First StreetOne year may not seem like a long time, but a lot has happened at the new Hudson Library in that span that are worth celebrating. Last Wednesday, July 6, marked the one year anniversary of the library’s move to First Street.
By: Jordan Willi, Hudson Star-Observer
One year may not seem like a long time, but a lot has happened at the new Hudson Library in that span that are worth celebrating.
Last Wednesday, July 6, marked the one year anniversary of the library’s move to First Street. Since the move, the library has seen its numbers steadily increase, including the amount of items in circulation, which numbers over 400,000 items, as well as a swell in new memberships.
“Circulation is up thirty percent since we moved in to the new building. That is equal to 120 more check-ins an hour,” Linda Donaldson, library director, said. “People have said we should have had this type of building years ago. People are excited about what is going on.”
The growth Donaldson and the rest of the library staff is seeing is not strictly from people who are new to the community. Most of the increase comes from Hudson area residents who have lived here for many years.
“People are wowed when they leave,” David Smith, board of trustees president, said. “The building is selling itself to the public.”
With the growth the staff is seeing, community volunteers have been invaluable to keeping everything running smoothly. Over any given month, there may be upwards of 50 volunteers putting in over 700 total hours at the library.
“Volunteer stats are up since we moved in. They are really important to us here and they are part of the support needed to meet the increased demand,” Donaldson said. “The landscaping around the building was done by a Hudson garden group. They donated their time and have done a great job.”
A survey conducted by an outside consultant earlier this year showed that over eighty-five percent of those who participated felt that the library is an essential and important to the quality of life in the city of Hudson. The same survey also found that over eight-five percent of all people think that taxpayer support for the library should be higher than it is.
“The survey just goes to show the respect people in the community have for the organization,” Smith said.
Along with being more visible at its new location, the library has also benefited from its proximity to downtown Hudson, including The Phipps Center for the Arts and Lakefront Park.
“The library is more visible now than it was before. It is nice to be in a cultural area of town,” Donaldson said. “People know we have a library now. They see us as a place in the community instead of asking ‘where is [the library]?’”
Since moving into the First Street building, new books clubs for children, teens and adults have been formed to make sure everyone has something to be excited about. Of the 335 members who have been involved in adult programming over the last year, 50 joined because of the new activities.
“It has been a real positive move for the library. The community support and the general awareness for the organization has gone up and we have even higher expectations for 2011,” Smith said. “Given the state the economy is in, more people will be using the library’s resources than ever before.”
For more information on the library, go to www.hudsonpubliclibrary.org or call (715) 386-3101.