Hampton library proves to be busy spot
With more than 117,000 items checked out in 2018, it shows there is real interest and appreciation for Hampton’s Community Library, said director Suzanna Krispli, who provided her annual overview of the library’s activities to the Hampton Township Council at their April 24 meeting.
Furthermore, the eLibrary had 32,405 items downloaded electronically. This includes ebooks, videos, magazines, audios, said Krispli, who has been at the library for 13 years.
Part of the busy activity comes from the more than 6,000 Hampton residents who have a library card, she said. On top of that, almost 40,000 residents walked through the door last year. That’s one-third of the township, she said.
“That’s a really good number compared to other libraries,” said Krispli.
That number fluctuates, as the previous year it was 44,000
A big use of the library is the computer, whether it’s for students using these after school, or someone coming in due to a broken home computer or printer. There were 2,178 uses of the public computers and more than 1,400 hours of computer use, she said.
The library places a big emphasis on programming for all ages. In 2018, there were 272 library programs held with more than 4,100 adults and children attending, said Krispli.
This was aided by a part-time youth services librarian, and seven part-time dedicated staff “who makes all these numbers happen,” she said.
She said the programs were quite a success despite having a smaller staff last year. The programs varied whether focusing on youth-related story time, STEM, or pre-kindergarten readiness; or adult favorites of trivia night, chili cook-off, and various demonstrations. And they work with Hampton’s Department of Community Services play camp in the summer.
The library staff receives aid from the 50 adults and teens who volunteered a total of 1,188 hours, said Krispli.
Since Hampton High School students must contribute 10 hours of community service per year, or 40 in all, to fulfill graduation requirements, per the HTSD website, many use their volunteer time for that, said Krispli. But, she said they make sure to have the kids treat it like a job, being responsible by adhering to their schedule and doing their work.
Overall, an estimated 10,000 questions were answered by staff, whether by phone or email, she said.
Local Hampton Township residents expressed their appreciation for the library.
Larson and Marty Elliott, who have lived here since 2012, like to check out the talking books and DVDs, among other things.
“The kids come every week. I think it’s a very good library,” said Marty.
Some residents like to use the gym at the community center where the library is located. Krispli said many people use both amenities due to their proximity.
Gretchen Watson, of Hampton, was at the park nearby after visiting the library that morning with her son, Oliver, 3. She uses the children’s programming, including storytime, parachute play and checking out children’s books.
Her older sons, Ben, 9, and Elliot, 6, like the older programs featuring popular kids characters “Captain Underpants” and the “Minions.”
“And every year we join the summer reading program,” she said.
Next year marks the library’s 30 anniversary and 15 years located in the community center building, said Krispli.
“We are definitely looking forward to another 30 years,” she said.