The Kendall Young Library greeted 137 new card holders during September during its "Get Fired Up at Your Library" promotion, according to library director Angie Martin-Schwarze at the library's monthly board meeting.
The promotion fell short of the library's goal of 200 new card holders, but Martin-Schwarze said the promotion brought in 22 percent more cardholders than last year. She said the program was also good publicity for the library, as circulation was up nine percent from last September.
The September promotion gave one new Kendall Young Library card holder a Kindle Fire tablet computer. Martin-Schwarze said the consolation for those that didn't win the tablet is that the library now offers two Kindle Fire tablets for inter-library loans. Readers can check out a tablet for 30 minutes at a time. These two tablets are in addition to the two that the library has for child use.
During the technology committee report, Martin-Schwarze said there has been discussion about creating a laptop lab at the library. She said there is time when the computers are at capacity, and the library doesn't have the space for larger desktop computers. If it would go through, library members could check out a laptop to use within the library and access their wireless internet. Martin-Schwarze said that laptops offer a similar experience to a desktop and some members may be more comfortable with a laptop instead of a tablet.
"I know there's kind of this movement towards tablet computers. I'm not sure we're ready to be on the cutting edge of that and go all tablet," Martin-Schwarze said. "I feel like for some of our users, a tablet might be a stretch when it comes to meeting their computing needs."
The library is also considering installing radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags onto all of their items. Martin-Schwarze said this will allow for self-checkout of items. The tags would also set off an alarm if it detects that an item has not been checked out when it exits the library. RFID tags are commonly used in retail for theft protection.
Martin-Schwarze said the technology has been used in libraries for five to 10 years. It would also take a lot of time to put these tags on every item, and the projected cost is between $50,000 to $80,000, according to Martin-Schwarze. The library is also considering installing cameras in the building. Martin-Schwarze said those cameras could be installed in November.
The library also has a new address that can be used to access its homepage. While the old address, kendall-young.lib.ia.us, still works, the web address kylib.org will also send users to their main page.
In her director's report, Martin-Schwarze discussed the number of participants in recent library events. Loween Getter held a presentation on her book, "The Stories of Willson Avenue," on Oct. 3 at the library. 85 people attended the presentation, and Martin-Schwarze said she is interested in hosting more events with Getter.
"We were thinking it wasn't an ideal date, because it was a Wednesday night and people were busy with church and it was the first debate, but I'm kind of glad it was that night because if we had more people we would have been in trouble," Martin-Schwarze said.
The library board also held a preliminary discussion on its 2013 budget. As it stands, the library has a projected budget of $704,000 for next year.