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Heights Library Prevails Despite Past Challenges

Hasbrouck Heights Public Library Board of Trustees begin the new year by reflecting on a long list of accomplishments realized in 2012.

Stats for 2012 show Hasbrouck Heights Public Library had a record breaking year, thriving in all areas and continuing to evolve into more of a community center with its many growing services and programs.

Financial woes had hit the library hard at the beginning of last year forcing a reduction of two full-time librarians. Despite that setback the library came through with the highest circulation numbers to date, more programs and resources that drew on average 2,000-plus people through the doors every week in 2012.

Mimi Hui, library director, went over the past year's accomplishments in a detailed report she presented for the Library Board Trustees during the Wednesday reorganization meeting.

In 2012, the library circulated 125,560 items, the highest amount to date, said Hui. On average more than 2,000 items were circulated per week. The type of items in the circulation continues to evolve as well as the demand for DVDs and videogrames continues to increase, explained Hui.

As technology continues to advance, the library continues to work to meet the need. One of the educational programs introduced last year focused on showing users how to download free books from BCCLS to their ereader. Hui says the downloading of books has doubled from 2011 to 2012.

More than 400 patrons use the libary computers every week and the library is also now home to a job hunters group known as Neighbors helping Neighbors a community group that weeks every Monday to discuss job opportunities.

Between children's programs, educational programs and resources for adults more than 5,000 people attended the  more than 300 events in 2012, reported Hui.

Although more staff is still needed, Hui says this staff worked hard and managed to realize all the things they dreamed up for 2012. She credited the support of the Friends of the Library for contributing funds to help support professional development, help purchase equipment, refreshments and prizes for programs and more.

Looking ahead into the new year, fundraising will be one of the goals according to Trustees as some furniture and equipment upgrades will be in need. Trustees discussed the possibility of purchasing some new chairs and also a new desktop computer for the office.

In addition there are plans to revamp the entire website for the library. Hui told board members she is in the process of getting quotes from vendors. The expected cost to have an entire website redone could cost roughly $7,000 she said.

A second book drop box may need to be purchased in the new year. The current drop box is said to fill up beyond capacity on weekends with returned books. Hui said often times she has driven up in the morning to find bags of books left next to the drop box because it's so overfilled.

Lisa Traina was re-elected President of the Libary Board of Trustees. Dr. Burnett Eglow was elected treasurer and Patricia Link, secretary.

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