The public library continued to be the busiest among the 70 member libraries of the Bergen County System in 1996. The figures below give you a basis for comparison:
Library # of items loaned
|2 Fair Lawn||375,921|
|8 Fort Lee||208,206|
|10 Franklin Lakes||154,648|
You demand much of the library and we deliver a high level of service. This is reflected in our circulation
total. It was attained with some of the most liberal loan policies in the county, and despite eschewing some types of materials, i.e., the latest feature film videos, bodice buster paperbacks, and other fluff. We strive to provide you with current, popular materials to meet your information needs and the numbers reflect your satisfaction. Day in, day out, the library is a busy, bustling place. The staff never stops hustling to meet your expectations.
A cornerstone of the library's high use is the Children's Department. If it were free standing, the department would rank ninth among the Bergen County library for total circulation. One index of their usage is the Summer Reading Club. The theme for 1996, "Go for the Gold" was an Olympic tie-in. The program attracted the participation of 1,160 children who read over 15,000 books - a winning effort.
Another highlight of circulation is Sunday use. A record was set for a Sunday on January 28,1996 when 1,722 items were loaned in a four hour period. That's more than a number of BCCLS Libraries do during the week! Did you know that only 23 of the libraries in Bergen County offer Sunday service? Teaneck has been doing so since 1964.
The library received a number of gifts in 1996 which enabled us to enhance the collection. We acknowledge a number of gifts received in lieu of honorariums from Mayor Paul Ostrow. Councilwoman Eleanor Kieliszek made gifts to the library on a number of occasions as well: weddings, anniversaries, and new grandchildren. On each occasion we selected a book or books that reflected the interests of those honored. The estate of Thayer Brown made a bequest to the library of $1,200. Gladys Balter, founder of the Kenneth R. Balter Memorial Foundation which sponsors the Balter Poetry Readings, sadly passed away in 1996. Early in the year, she donated a wonderful set of videos featuring contemporary poets being interviewed and reading from their works. The Teaneck Holocaust Memorial Committee made a gift to permit the purchase of a number of new titles on the Holocaust. Sue Brody augmented the fund established in honor of her deceased husband, Arthur, with another gift that was used to add compact discs of classical guitar as well as folk music. The Menkes family decided to add to the fund established in honor of Peter K. Menkes. We appreciate al these gifts and salute all the donors.
READING GARDEN DEDICATED: On June 9, the library formally dedicated the Children's Reading Garden. Set between the township hall and the library, the focus is a beautiful piece of bronze sculpture by Judith Peck. No taxpayer funds were used to complete the project. Endowments in honor of George Heftler, Peter K. Menkes and the Jordan family were used along with the proceeds from "A Night of Song" held during the 1995 township centennial. The ceremony itself featured singers from the Teaneck elementary schools under the direction of Loren Daniels.
You must talk about computers when you talk about libraries these days. The machines are constantly changing the means by which the public gets information so libraries must be current with these tools. In 1996 there were a number of significant developments. In June, the library was awarded a $5,631 grant from the State Library. The grant will enable establishment of a Virtual Village for Teaneck. A high powered multi-media computer with a scanner was acquired so that historical photographs, documents, and other materials could be made available to the public. Eventually, a person will use the computer to call up a given neighborhood, time period, or issue in Teaneck history and see a variety of materials from the computer's database. The original, delicate materials can be properly and safely stored. Students from Teaneck High School, under the direction of John Hanna and former library staffer Cynthia Hetherington, will be working on this project throughout 1997.
The Bergen County Cooperative Library System increased its dialup service to 24 hours a day on June 1, 1996. Patrons can use their home computer and connect via modem to the library catalog for all Bergen public libraries as well as a magazine database that features some 300 magazines with the full text of the articles. Internet service continued to be offered to the public in 1996. Plans were underway to switch from 28.8 dialup service from a library computer to much faster T-1 service on the latest generation of computers used by the library staff. Seminars on using the library catalog and introduction to the Internet were offered throughout the year.
Among all the wonderful programs the Children's Department offers, the "Super Sundays" are always a hit. Last year's entertainment featured a "Telling Our Stories" multicultural event that was enabled by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Other treats included Broadway for Young People with Debby Doyle Friedman, the puppeteer Judy Cohen, and the Youth Bell Ringers concert.
Concerts for adults were offered once a month on Sunday afternoons with support from William Thurnauer and the Friends of the Teaneck Public Library. Friday morning programs for seniors featured a wide variety of lectures, performances, and fun. The foreign film series, also sponsored by the Friends and under the guidance of Pat King, attracted wide, continuing interest. Information about the Library