A message from the Director
If I had to select one word to describe the past year, I would choose refreshing. It was truly energizing to be able to host many programs in house again and talk with our patrons young and old. It was a joy to participate in community events such as the Butler Township Community Day and the Oceans of Fun Family Nights at the City playgrounds.
One of the many highlights of the year was partnering with the City of Butler to apply for and be awarded a Keystone Grant. The grant funds were used for new flooring and signage in several areas. In addition, the second floor doors were automated making the upper floor more accessible to all of our patrons. I thank you for your patience during the planned closures for the renovation and for those unexpected maintenance projects during the year.
I am excited to be part of the planning process for many new programs and services in 2023. The staff and I look forward to navigating new challenges and opportunities with you in the new year.
Municipal & County Funding...$55,226
Gifts & Memorials.............$514,017
Trusts & Restricted Gifts.......$53,109
My Library Campaign...........$13,062
Services & Fundraising.........$15,191
Keystone Grant for Public Library Facilities
By Peter Bess, Assistant Director
In 2022 the City of Butler and the Butler Area Public Library were awarded a Keystone Grant for just over $29,000. The grant stipulated that some of the funds would be used for renovating the carpeting in the Children's and Reference Departments as well as, replacing the flooring in the library's meeting room. The rest of the funds would be used to convert the doors leading into the Reference Department to automated doors, making the space more easily accessible for all patrons.
The library closed to the public for two weeks in October 2022 in order to get the major portions of the project completed. By the end of the two weeks the carpet in the Children's and Reference Departments had been completely replaced, as well as, the flooring in the meeting room. All work related to the carpeting and flooring project was performed by Butler Flooring and Carpeting and You Name It Contracting.
The doors to the Reference Department were also converted to automated doors at the beginning of January 2023. All work related to the door conversion was performed by Trinity Door Systems and You Name It Contracting.
The library is incredibly thankful to have been able to work alongside the City of Butler to make this grant happen.
New carpet and a redesign gave the Children's Department a whole new vibe.
The second floor was made more comfortable & accessible with new carpet,
automated doors & minor furniture changes.
Find more images of our Keystone Grant Project at butlerlibrary.info/keystonegrant
new library cards
reference questions answered
physical items checked out
video & music files
visits to our webiste
MOST POPULAR CHECKOUTS
Of all the items borrowed, these were the most popular in 2022.
Something To Crow About fall festival was a good time for all!
programs & events
By Tiffany Harkleroad, Youth Services Manager
2022 saw us returning to in person programs for the majority of the year, which was very exciting for both the Children’s Department and the Teen Zone. Both departments continued to offer bi-weekly activity kits, with the exception of the summer when they were weekly, and these are consistently very popular with families.
When the year started, we were offering both in-person and virtual storytime sessions, but we transitioned into fully in person activities beginning with Summer Challenge. After gathering data through a survey, we determined that while virtual storytimes allow more flexibility for families, they still preferred in person sessions more.
In an attempt to be more flexible and reach more families, we began offering weekly evening storytimes during our fall storytime season, as well as Saturday storytimes once a month. We plan to continue this schedule through early 2023 to evaluate if we are reaching unserved or underserved families.
Similarly, tween/teen programming began the year exclusively virtual, and transitioned to fully in person for the summer. However, with the closure of the Butler Middle School, which was in close proximity to the library, the start of the 2022-2023 school year saw a significant decrease in the amount of tweens and teens using the library after school. We continue to seek ways to draw this age group back to the library.
Summer Challenge 2022 had a theme of Oceans of Possibilities, and it was the perfect way to get families reconnected to the library. We saw great attendance in both children’s and tween/teen programs, returning to, and sometimes surpassing, our pre-pandemic attendance numbers. We held weekly programs for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and elementary students, and then had 2 programs a week for tweens and teens.
The library started the year with one Bonner Leader from Slippery Rock University, and toward the end of the year, we acquired a second one. Both leaders have assisted in the planning and execution of large scale events, as well as smaller weekly programs, that have benefitted families. These include our “Something to Crow About” fall festival, as well as our “A Trip Through Narnia” holiday program.
We saw a lot of growth in our outreach activities, and our attempts to create more community partnerships. We did a series of playground outreach sessions over the summer which were very successful. Additionally, we were able to begin getting back into the schools to do outreach with students, as well as having school field trips to the library, something that had stopped in 2020 due to Covid-19.
We again participated in Bundle Up Butler, and also participated in two different community based Trunk or Treat events. In early October, when the library was temporarily closed for renovations, we were able to do some community based storytime sessions in conjunction with a local business. We continue to seek more ways to be involved in the community.
All in all, 2022 was a great year for Youth Services!!
Community members came out for our Summer Reading Wrap-Up events and playground outreach.
Some fun notable events for youth services included:
In March, Ms. Tiffany filmed a “Teachable Moments” spot for PBS WQED, showcasing the mural in the children’s department.
In June, Ms. Tiffany was selected to be a part of the Office of Commonwealth Libraries Project READY Leadership Cohort, which focuses on advancing equity, belonging, and inclusion for all.
Also in June, Ms. Tiffany had a virtual program selected to be included in the Pennsylvania Library Association’s PA Forward Virtual Program Collection, and was awarded a $1000 stipend.
In August, we partnered with the Butler Area School District and WQED to host a Back to School Bash, which was very successful.
In October, the children’s department got new carpet, and the layout was changed to give the department a totally different feel.
In October and November, we hatched duck eggs and hosted 5 little ducklings for a few days.
21 Programs for Children with 774 Participants
56 Adult Participants
9 Programs for Teens & Tweens with 190 Participants
Who could resist the alpacas at our Something to Crow About event?
ADULT SERVICES 2022 IN REVIEW
By Dianne McCauley, Adult Program Manager
2022 was a fresh start to our adult programming. Being able to invite the public back into the library for in-person programming was just the spark we needed for the year. While we continued to provide our time-tested favorites, we held a variety of new events, added in some community partnerships, also branched out with a growing population of local authors.
Our “Open” sign saw a lot of traffic this year. Our Crafty Adults program was provided through in-person and grab-n-go craft kits, reaching 288 patrons over the year. We held in-person gaming events for 88 patrons. We visited our friends at the Lowrie Place throughout the year, spending time with over 80 residents.
We provided online reading challenges in 2022: Adult Winter Reading and Adult Summer Reading, with a total of 111 participants! We started two new book clubs and the Golden Fox Club for patrons over 55, with a total of 138 participants for all three clubs.
We had seven local authors provide talks and book signings; a variety of yoga and tai chi classes; and several great local speakers on a variety of topics from Route 8 to Pittsburgh Ghosts, and Drum Circles to Stress Relief.
This year saw a few new partnerships for the library. We partnered with the Jean B. Purvis Community Health Center to provide blood pressure screenings, wellness seminars, and Smoke Free for Life classes. Neighborhood Legal Services partnered with us as well, to provide informative legal seminars on a variety of topics. In conjunction with the Butler Cultural District – Visions of Community, the library held a poetry event, showcasing the talent of our local poets.
In addition to library sponsored programs we also participated in Bundle-Up Butler hosted by the Center for Community Resources. At the event we handed out goodies to over 175 people. We raised Skin Cancer Awareness during the month of May, giving out free sunscreen, and other informative goodies provided by Impact Melanoma and SunBum.
2022 brought great community partnerships to the library and we look forward to what new and exciting things 2023 will bring. We hope you stick around to find out.
Over 50 attended Steve Cicero's talk on the historical happenings along Route 8.
REFERENCE, GENEALOGY & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
By Anita Bowser, Information Services Manager
As 2022 came to a close, services on the library’s second floor were on track to return to pre-pandemic status.
The Keystone Grant allowed for sprucing up in the computer lab, with the installation of new flooring and an upgrade to automated doors. A second catalog station was added to accommodate users on both of the department’s split levels. A table was added to the central receiving area, near the computer lab, and seating was arranged to increase work and reading space. Device charging stations were increased and made more accessible for patrons.
The Reference Department fielded a monthly average of 422 inquiries, many of which were for technology support in the computer lab and help in accessing the library's Libby and Hoopla apps. The Genealogy Department responded to 932 research questions in 2022, with queries from library visitors as well as long-distance patrons in 33 states and France.
Over 40 adults received one-to-one technology instruction and 137 community members benefited from the library's technology outreach. In 2022, library technology outreach included six iPad classes held at the Concordia personal care center. Outreach activities also included three workshops made possible by the PLA Digital Literacy Workshop Incentive, supported by AT&T. The workshop sessions included instruction in setting up and using email; basic internet use; and, basic computer use for Windows 10. The workshops were held at the Grapevine Center, which was our partner on the project.
The Genealogy Department presented 15 live and virtual classes, including outreach to BC3, Slippery Rock University and Passavant Senior Living of Zelienople. Total attendance for genealogy programs and club meetings was 350. Topics included WWI records research; building your family tree; finding your immigrant ancestors; 1950 Census; hidden records; WWII draft cards; and, early land records.
Library instructional and promotional videos were viewed over 18,000 times in 2022 on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, with three new on-demand videos added to the Family History Friday video series. The genealogy videos had a combined 1,043 views across all platforms.
The library’s website provided access to 14,028 unique visitors with 34,852 cumulative website visits in 2022.The majority of those visits were attributed to the Home Page, with pages on genealogy, library services, books and eResources rounding out the top five. Library patrons viewed over 500 items on the PowerLibrary database in 2022. Library users completed 7,429 searches using Heritage Quest and 6,782 searches through Ancestry Library Edition.
While much work was done in 2022 to reach out to our pre-pandemic patron base, the Reference Department looks forward to an even more productive 2023 when increasing access and developing partnerships will be a big part of our focus.
Website traffic on pages other than the Home Page.