CAPE BRETON REGIONAL LIBRARY
Highlights – September 13, 2021
Regional Librarian’s Report:
The impact of COVID-19 on library services is evident in monthly statistics. Prior to Covid-19, total circulation for CBRL averaged 29,000 items per month. Since the onset of the pandemic the average total circulation is 25,000 per month. This statistic includes e-books which have trended upwards over the last 18 months.
Before the pandemic 100,000 people visited the Sydney branch per year. In 2020/21, this statistic was reduced by half. This can largely be attributed to restrictions put in place around gathering limits which had a direct impact on library programs. Many people visit their local branch for this reason alone.
From January 1, 2021 to August 26, 2021, there have been 1880 new card registrations. Comparatively, for the same date range in 2020, there were 1110 registrations.
Summer Reading Program
CBRL renewed our subscription to Readsquared, which is an online summer reading tool for libraries. Library patrons of all ages were able to join the summer reading program online from June 26 – August 31, and paper ballots were also available for participants to fill out if online access wasn’t accessible for them. As we near the end of August, we have 323 participants (120 teens/adults and 203 kids) in our Summer Reading Program.
Summer Student Employees
A few summer student positions were filled this summer to help with programs in our library branches. David Casagrande was hired through @NS to offer tech support to seniors and we received a Young Canada Works grant to hire a ‘Science Fun Navigator’; this position was filled by Mary MacInnis, who planned science activities for school-aged children. We also hired Liam Fraser for July/August to deliver teen programs specifically.
A few years ago, CBRL became aware of a really great idea: storybook walk (first shared by Ann Ferguson@ Vermont Library). We shared the idea with a print company and a changeable template was developed for our Storybook Walk. This summer the TD Summer Reading Club also shared the book ‘The Thing Lou Couldn’t Do’, by Ashley Spires, in storybook walk forms with libraries who registered for this program. In total, we had 3 kits to share this summer and they’ve been well received.
Virtual Summer Tours
NS Provincial Library shared another Virtual Summer Tour to boost program content for public libraries around the province. NSPL has co-ordinated a Summer Performers Tour for the last 6-7 years, and it was required to be an online offering this summer and last.
The Library partnered with the CBRM ConnectARTS team on a few of their community crafting activities. We helped with set-up for these programs that were offered in the green spaces near our library branches where library information and materials were shared with participants. We also partnered with CB Pride on a Drag Queen Story Time at Wentworth Park (approx. 75 participants both young and old). Finally, Baddeck Library’s Outreach team has been busy setting up at farmer’s markets and activities in Victoria Co.