2021 Accomplishments

2021 was a big year for us! While we continued to increase access to our services through virtual options, we also resumed all of the in-person services and events you love. Here are some of the accomplishments that made our 2021 great!

Events and Services

11,706 people participated in 984 Library-sponsored in-person and virtual events. Summer reading continued virtually, with its participants nearly doubling the initial goal of reading one-million minutes!

We launched several long-term programs including a 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading challenge and Monroe County Field Notes, a virtual dig to uncover stories about 19th-century landmarks and people. The research will help diversify our community’s history.

We offered new seasonal personalized reading recommendation services for children, teens, and adults––Wonder Tote, Library Loot, and Library Tinder. Patrons answered questions about their reading interests and received recommendations with fun, bookish goodies to keep!

We visited 28 weekly Bookmobile stops in the community, and served 90 patrons at their doorstops monthly as part of our House Calls Service for patrons who are unable to visit us due to a disability or an extended illness.


Usage and the Collection

You checked out nearly 2 million physical and digital items! To further promote equitable access, we introduced a Care Fee Option Program. This allows patrons to remove replacement fees for damaged or lost materials through responsible checkout. We continue not to charge late fines.

We completed 9,828 reference help transactions, and provided 48,400 public computing sessions and more than 1.5 million wireless internet uses!

We also expanded access to non-traditional items by adding new and expanded items to our Library of Things, including iPads, mobile video production kits, role-playing game kits, hotspots, and external hard drives.


Our Spaces

At the beginning of the year, we installed a contactless pickup window at the Downtown Library to better serve patrons who prefer not to enter the building. You can walk, bike, or drive up to it!

In October, construction began on our much-anticipated Southwest Branch Library! In addition to traditional services and spaces, the new branch will feature a teaching kitchen, an all-ages collaborative space, and an amphitheater. You can follow the construction progress via a time-lapse camera on our dedicated webpage.


Library Supporters

We couldn’t do what we do with support from our volunteers and the Friends of the Library foundation.

In 2021, the Friends contributed $103,000 to support programs, collections, staff training, and more. They also pledged to donate $650,000 to assist with equipping the forthcoming Southwest Branch Library!

Volunteers remained active with VITAL, providing flexible learning opportunities for 140 adult literacy and language learners. Many other areas of the Library hosted volunteers as well, for a total of 5,279 hours volunteered. A new volunteer database and application process were launched to support this work.


Full Report

These are just a few of our 2021 highlights, there are many more achievements to celebrate! View our full 2021 accomplishment report here (PDF).