Arlington Heights Memorial Library has responded to the challenging economy with a focus on how to “Live Well on Less.”
From its web site resources at http://www.ahml.info to a full-wall book display that changes daily, the library is providing information to help people in lean times. Job hunting and do-it-yourself car repair books, DVDs, Internet and wireless acccess, and even where to get mortgage assistance, legal aid, health care or help paying utility bills are topics in the spotlight.
“First and foremost, what we do best is to provide information,” says Executive Librarian Paula Moore. “We can’t solve problems, nor is the library a social service agency. But we can be a link to them.”
Library staff has hand delivered customized “Live Well on Less” bookmarks — in large type — to social workers at the Village of Arlington Heights, Wheeling and Elk Grove Townships, and the Arlington Heights Senior Center. Personal appointments at the Answer Center with reference librarians are very popular, because of the specialized service to help customers find financial or career resources on the library’s databases.
Business librarian Barb Vlk begins two new job-related networking groups begin in January, and three economizing-related programs are planned next month for adults: Super Couponing, Easy Selling on EBay, and Comfort Cooking. The library newsletter promotes the “top ten ways our library can save you money” and the Library Board of Trustees approved a 0% tax levy increase for the next fiscal year.
And as belts are tightening, the Library gets busier every day. For the first time in recent memory, Moore adds, the library’s monthly circulation increase was in double digits – 10.8% library-wide in November of 2008. The monthly total was 203,224 items loaned. So far this fiscal year, the library circulation is increased 6.99% over the same time period last year.
“We want to continue to be a place of respite and retreat, but we also want to respond to people in our community who are searching for information on how to cope and economize,” Moore says.
Submitted by Deb Whisler