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Year in Review Fiscal Year 2016: July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016 Vernon Area Public Library 300 Olde Half Day Rd Lincolnshire, IL 60069 847-634-3650 •

Today’s public library is about more than just books. Around the world, libraries are transforming to become centers of lifelong learning, regardless of the medium. At Vernon Area Public Library, we support our diverse community of patrons in their ongoing quests to educate, enrich, and improve themselves through:

• a digital library that never closes and is always expanding to include more popular materials

• reliable online resources that provide information that they can trust

• programs that inform, engage, and enrich

• access to premium online resources such as Mango for learning another language, for one-on-one homework help, and Gale Courses for instructor-led professional development and test preparation

Our community We are privileged to serve a vibrant, diverse, and growing community of individuals and families who support their local public library. The Vernon Area Public Library District directly serves 41,055 individuals residing in 15,694 households, with a median household income of $117,335. Our community is incredibly educated, with more than 62 percent of adults over age 25 holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Approximately 80 percent of district residents are white and 16 percent are of Asian descent, including Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Pakistani, Filipino, and other nationalities. More than one in four speak a language other than English, with Russian, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Hindi and other Indian languages cited most often. Sources: U.S. Census, ACS estimates 2011, 2014


Indian Creek









ry 83


Buffalo Grove Rd

Lake-Cook Rd

Arlington Heights Rd






984,750 overall circulation

350,243 items for checkout


visitors to the library*

31,452 cardholders


program attendees


reference & directional questions answered * Not included: visitors to the Library Annex, attendees at library events at other locations

Outperforming national benchmarks Vernon Area Public Library continues to rank high among public libraries, with service output measures above average. Annual library visits per resident of our library district (“per capita”) equals 7.7, compared to 7.5 nationally and 6.2 among Illinois libraries. Our library circulates approximately 24 items per year per capita, compared to 4.6 nationally and 9.8 among Illinois libraries.

9.0 8.0 7.5 7.0



Circulated Items Visits

5.0 4.6 4.0

Vernon Area Public Library visits per capita: 7.7

Vernon Area Public Library items circulated per capita: 24.0


1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


Values presented are for the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Public Libraries Survey (1995–2005); and Institute of Museum and Library Services, Public Libraries in the United States Survey (2006–2014).

Supporting learning This library serves a population that places a premium on excellent education. Vernon Area Public Library provides all patrons, regardless of age or background, with tools to advance their learning. Storytimes and age-specific preschool programs build reading-readiness skills and contribute to healthy brain development beginning with newborns. Programs for school-age children enrich and inspire these young learners, expanding education beyond the classroom. A roster of activities on topics from virtual reality to Minecraft to animation makes the library a gathering place for teens. Events for adults offer enrichment opportunities for professionals, parents, and seniors.

Early Literacy offerings expanded Results from our Community Survey in 2013 made clear the demand for programs for children ages birth to pre-kindergarten that reinforce early literacy skills, support school readiness, and create new readers. So we set a goal to grow our early literacy storytimes — and indeed we have. Today we are offering four times as many early literacy storytimes as we did at the time of the survey, serving seven times as many participants. New Early Literacy series added in FY 2016 include: • Tuck-me-in Tales: evening storytime for families, popular with working parents

• Under Five Family Time: weekend program for families with children ages 0-5 years old • Tap Tap Tablet Storytime - Caregivers join preschoolers at this program that develops pre-literacy skills and teaches adults and children ages 3-5 how to engage with technology in a healthy and educational way These popular programs require the larger space of our main meeting room in order to accommodate the larger crowds.

• A Taste of Storytime: Saturday morning storytime “try-it” for families, plus coffee and doughnuts

FY 2013

FY 2014

FY 2015

FY 2016





Total Number of Early Literacy Programs





average attendance per program





Total Yearly Attendance

Supporting school success We are committed to providing to our local K–12 students the information and resources critical to educational success. In the past year, we increased the number of programs for our school-aged youth by 12 percent, and served 20 percent more young learners, totaling 20,254 attendees. Highlights include: • Increased library services for multiple Stevenson High School special education classrooms • Science Investigators for grades K-1 joins our STEM series lineup, which now covers preschool through grade 5 • Special STEM programs led by local science professionals, such as Roller Coaster Rides: The Physics behind the Fun and STEM Museum with the Northern Illinois University STEM outreach team and Moon over Lincolnshire with the Lake County Astronomical Society • Minecraft Mania and LEGO Robotics continue to be popular with our patrons, and we will be expanding our technology programming this fall with My First Robot and littleBits

“‘Thank you’ is a very tiny word for all the amazing children’s programs, never-ending fun, and edutainment you continue to provide for my kids and so many other children. Above all, my heartfelt gratitude for the warm, welcoming, and culturally diverse environment that your very tolerant and generous staff espouses and promotes. Vernon Area Public Library environment is truly a platform for renewing hope for anyone who believes that all human beings, regardless of color, race, or religion can peacefully coexist.”

Meeting the needs of adult learners In addition to growing new readers and supporting school success, the Vernon Area Public Library provides a vibrant and varied slate of programs and classes for adult learners, ranging from book discussions to cultural performances, music, theater, lectures and discussions on humanities topics, and workshops about using library resources to improve your life: reduce your living expenses, grow your business, and express your creativity. One area of growth in adult programming this year is our Computers and Technology classes. Public libraries, many Americans say, should offer programs to teach people digital skills (80% think libraries should definitely do this, according to the results of a recent Pew Research study). We are ahead of that trend: in the past two years, we have more than doubled the number of small-group computer and technology classes we offer, serving more than 1,200 participants this year. Our one-on-one technology assistance appointments are very popular with cardholders as well: we booked 94 sessions between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016.

VAPLD Computers & Technology Classes 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 FY14



“The true value in any Vernon Area Library program offered is what impact it has on your personal or professional life. As a direct result of implementing what I learned in the LinkedIn and Facebook for Business courses, I secured two new clients, was asked to contribute to two books and went from several hundred website hits to thousands — all this, within two weeks.”

Exceptional customer service It is our goal to provide personalized, exceptional service to our library visitors. At every level and in everything we do, from behind-the-scenes to front-of-house, your satisfaction is our bottom line. This is an area in which we have always excelled: our personalized customer service was our highest rated feature on our 2013 Community Survey. And yet, we continue to aim higher, seeking ways to better meet patron needs and deliver greater value.

One year without fines — and feeling fine! Vernon Area Public Library eliminated fines for overdue materials in August 2015, and we could not be more delighted with the results. Library users are happier knowing they don’t have to worry if an item goes a few days overdue. Library staff are happier without fine-related interactions. The effect shows: • Number of first-time checkouts has increased 3 percent over last year — a more accurate measure of new use than overall checkouts, which include renewals

• Number of new cardholders in FY16 was 9 percent higher than the previous 12 months Since Vernon Area Public Library eliminated overdue fines, other area library districts have followed suit or are considering doing so. Our management presented on the topic at this year’s annual Illinois Library Association conference, and appeared on Chicago Public Radio to talk about the program’s success. FY 2015 FY 2016 First time checkouts New resident cardholders





Serving our customers where they are In today’s world of instant, everywhere access to information and entertainment, we have stepped outside our doors to better serve our customers. In addition to expanding our always-available collection of digital materials, we make regular, in-person visits to bring services to patrons in our district. If you are unable to come to the library, we will come to you: library staff deliver materials to homebound patrons and residents of the assisted living facilities in our district every month. We even deliver live entertainment, hosting quarterly music or other performances at each local assisted living facility each year. Throughout the year, our librarians visit each of the schools served by our district, presenting book talks and providing materials delivery for classes and teachers to use with their curriculum. Off-campus offerings such as Snacks and Facts Trivia Night and Thirsty Thursdays: Books on Tap bring library programs into lively local venues. Our business librarian is active with the Buffalo Grove Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, helping

to connect our business customers with resources available to them through the library. And if you live in the community, you are likely to run into us at the Buffalo Grove Farmer’s Market, Senior Expo, National Night Out, or other events — there to sign up new cardholders and spread the word about the services your library has to offer you.

Meeting demand Faster wish fulfillment By adjusting some behind-the-scenes policies and procedures, we have reduced the wait time for the most popular books and movies by one-third to one-half over the past three years — getting more materials into more borrowers’ hands more quickly.

Adult Print avg. wait time


FY 2015

DVDs avg. wait time

FY 2016


FY 2015

FY 2016

Improved browseability Library data show that browsing accounts for three out of every four checkouts. As part of our ongoing mission to connect patrons with great materials, we have arranged our popular collections to make them easy to browse. The new Book Club Favorites section is composed of a rotating collection of approximately 50 titles beloved by the adult book clubs that we serve. Their attractive face-out display entices visitors to these new shelves toward the back of the library. Ever-changing book displays highlight interesting themes and professionally curated selections.

“Just wanted to say I saw the LGBT display in the juvenile section today and it makes me so happy that VAPLD is creating a safe space for LGBT teens and making LGBT positivity part of our community. Good job!�

Building community Spotlight on volunteers At Vernon Area Library the staff of 90 employees (many of them part-time) are supported by a corps of volunteers who provide thousands of hours of service each year. In FY2015–16, 142 volunteers contributed more than 3,700 hours of work, valued at nearly $100,000. Volunteers contribute both behind the scenes and in the public space, providing such critical services as shelf reading so library users can find the materials they’re looking for, media cleaning so DVDs and CDs play without a hitch when patrons take them home, and welcoming patrons to programs by checking registrations at the door and guiding them to events taking place outdoors or in the Annex, among other tasks.

Partnerships maximize value Collaboration with community organizations and other local government services provides added value for our shared constituencies. • Lincolnshire Police Department • Lincolnshire Fire Department • Buffalo Grove Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce • Buffalo Grove Park District • Sharing Hands Food Pantry • Vernon Township Food Pantry • Lincolnshire Rotary • SCORE Northshore Chicago Chapter • Cradles to Crayons • Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO)

• Glass Slipper Project • Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) and neighboring public libraries • Lake County Forest Preserves / Brushwood Center • Lake County Health Department • Adlai E. Stevenson High School • Stevenson High School Foundation • Community Parent Network • Hulse Juvenile Detention Center • Mundelein High School Adult Education • Kildeer Countryside School District 96 • Aptakisic–Tripp School District 102 • Lincolnshire–Prairie View School District 103

Thank you to our donors and sponsors Helen N. Morrow Trust Friends of the Vernon Area Public Library 501st Legion Midwest Garrison • Automatic Studios • Marc Blumenthal, Blumentahl Law • C2 Education • Capricon 36 • Chatterbox of Long Grove • ChickFil-A • Chipotle • Clear Path Social • Culver’s • DK • Dreamland Comics • Mantas Tautkus, Edward Jones

Financial • First Second Books • IDW Publishing • Lake County Appeal • Max & Benny’s • Menchie’s • More than Scores and Tests • Pastimes Comics & Games • Shabsin CPA • Quirk Books

Vernon Area Public Library Board of Trustees

Kim Smith, Secretary

Jay Kasten, President

Edward Kogan, Vice President

Jonathan Passman, Treasurer





Marc Fenton

George Goldstein

Ed Acuna




Profile for Vernon Area Public Library

Year in Review FY 2015-16  

Highlights and patron stories from library operations July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016.

Year in Review FY 2015-16  

Highlights and patron stories from library operations July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016.