2018 Year In Review: The Library

Every public library should do some form of an annual report. Whether it be a multi-page or something quick to share statistics, the annual report is a must have for public libraries these days. The shape or the form of the annual report is of no importance: what matters most is the communication of what and where the library is, what the library is doing, and where the library is headed. The annual report is written by the library for community members to read. The end result is hopefully the education of community members about many different aspects of the public library.

The annual report at my library has taken the form of a 2-3 page year in review. I always start the year in review with a positive message about what the library aimed to do in the previous year and where it is headed in the next year. I enjoy writing these messages because it gives me a time to communicate how important the public library is to our community. Every year this message has a mantra that I like to repeat: the public library is the center of our community which gives everyone an equal chance to learn, grow, and live together.

I end every year in review by recapping some statistics. I tend to love library statistics and the story they tell, yet over the years I’ve realized that there’s no real standard across the board because all public libraries are different. Some libraries may have over one million circulations per year (which is mighty impressive), but the 65,353 that my library loaned out in 2018 is great for who and what we are for our community. My hope is that the numbers that I share with our community resonate with them and remind them that their public library is still a very important part of their community.

To end, I’ll share my 2018 Year In Review message. I hope you enjoy it and I hope this post encourages you to build and develop your own Annual Report/Year In Review for your public library.

(ONE MORE THING: Maybe you’re reading this and you’re not a library director and you’re thinking “well I don’t do this”. Guess what? You should do this! Do you manage a youth services department? The annual report/year in review is a great tool to share what you do for your audience. Share your story and your victories. Be very proud of what you do!)

For 115 years, our goal at the Benson Memorial Library has been to bring our community together to learn, to communicate with each, and to grow together. 2018 was quite a wonderful year for us and we wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support. We couldn’t do it without you.

The Benson Memorial Library is for everyone in our community. Be it a new book, a movie, a library event, or help with technology, we are here for everyone. When we all work together we can accomplish amazing things. The Benson Memorial Library is the place in our community where we come together and share life.

No matter what your request is, be it your desire to read the latest best seller, needing assistance with creating a resume to apply for a job, or attending one of our free events for kids, teens, and adults at the library, the staff at the Benson Memorial Library is always extremely willing to help out our community members. We are always doing our best to listen to what you need.

These days you may hear people wondering outloud why public libraries exist in our modern age. In a world dominated by technology, public libraries are increasingly becoming more important in bringing us all together. Here at the Benson Memorial Library we are not only just about books and information. We are all about people and our community. Our goal is to bring people together to share life and experiences. Stop in any time and you’ll see what a vibrant place our public library is these days. There’s almost a 100% guarantee you’ll run into your neighbor or friend and spend a few minutes having a nice chat. We promise you’ll leave with a smile.

In 2019 we’ll continue to make exciting steps towards the future. We promise to always be there for our community.If you haven’t stopped in the Benson Memorial Library in awhile, we’d love to see you again and show you some of the great things we have to offer. You are always welcome at the library.


  1. I just love your heart for hospitality: “You are always welcome at the library.”

    This is so essential to us in our branch!! Keep up the good work, friend!!

    Deidrah Reeves Branch Manager Whiteford Branch, Harford County Public Library 2407 Whiteford Rd. Whiteford, MD 21160 410-638-3608 x6902


    • I want everyone in our community to feel like that they can come into this space and exist. I don’t want anyone to feel threatened by this place. It’s a lot of work, but we’re getting there. And I know you are getting there too. You are a good person, and good people can’t help but spread great things in this world. Keep doing what you do.

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