A vision fulfilled
Families flock to new library childrens room
Two months after the revamped childrens room opened at the West Linn Public Library, director Holly Mercer couldnt be happier with how it turned out.
Its fabulous, Mercer said. Families are really enjoying it. Theyre staying down there, spending time together theyre making it a great place to gather, learn and play.
The renovation arrived on the heels of a $20,000 donation from the West Linn Library Foundation. The project included moving a full-service circulation desk downstairs while also adding a young teen or tween area, upgrading the furniture and adding collaboration areas where children can play with electronic tablets and interact with each other.
The tablets wont arrive for a few months, Mercer said, but the childrens area still offers collaborative tables, Legos, trains and computers.
The room is divided into different areas based on age groups from infants to toddlers and beyond to assure that families can find suitable activities for every child.
The West Linn Library Foundation was founded specifically for charitable purposes and received tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service in June 2010. The foundation raises money primarily though individual donations, planned giving through bequests or estate plans and grants.
The foundations next goal is to raise money for a new teen area at the library which Mercer hopes will be completed by next year.
To learn more about the West Linn Library Foundation or make a donation, visit wllibraryfoundation.org.
Library late fees will decrease
Since the library increased its late fee from 10 cents per day to 25 cents back in June, the ripple effects have been evident in both resident feedback and checkout rates.
According to Mercer, checkouts of childrens material decreased by 10 percent between September and November compared to the same months in 2012, and a number of library cardholders said the fee increase was simply too steep.
The percent of the increase was what created the most hardships, Mercer said. So before what would have been a 40 cent charge was now a dollar. Thats a lot, especially for families who check out lots of items.
Thus, Mercer and the city agreed that the library should shift back to a more reasonable 15 cents per day starting Jan. 1.
The library will also revive its Food for Fines program this February, allowing library patrons to reduce their overdue fees by 50 cents for every can of nonperishable, nutritious food they donate.
Its a tradition thats been done in February, Mercer said. Patrons got used to it, but for the past few years we havent done it. So were reinstating a program that was well received in the past.
Patrick Malee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 503-636-1281, ext. 106. Follow him on Twitter, @pmalee_wlJW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT