La Vista Public Library had an eventful 2019 with several grants that allowed the library to expand its program offerings to the public.
During fiscal year 2018-2019 the library had 90,753 visitors, 2,285 cardholders and 175,187 items in its circulation collection. The circulation is up by 12,388 from the previous year.
The circulation figure represents materials of any type, including adult, children and teen print materials, e-books, DVD’s, board games, magazines and music.
Library Director Rose Barcal said one of the things that stood out to her from the year at the library was a $10,000 grant, the largest grant in her 18 years at the library, to help fund the library’s General Education Development program. Graduates of the program receive a diploma that is equivalent to graduating high school.
The grant was courtesy of the American Library Association and Dollar General Foundation.
“There is no charge with our GED program, the only thing students pay for is the GED test,” Barcal said. “We provide all the materials to the students.”
Barcal said the GED program is self-paced and students have finished the program anywhere from three months to 10 years.
The library also applied for an equipment and training grant which will give the library technology such as 3D printers and a green screen with a camera.
She said the equipment will head to the library March 16 and will be there until Aug. 17, then the technology will move to a different site.
The equipment rotates through different locations to expose as many people to new technology as possible.
There will be no charge to use the equipment and those interested in the space do not have to be library card holders or La Vista residents.
Barcal said she wants to reach out to local small businesses so that they can utilize the space and equipment to create advertising and logos free of charge.
“A lot of the small businesses around here do not have it in their budget to create video or personalized advertisements,” Barcal said.
The library staff was able to grow along with the program offerings.
Although the visitors were down by 1,399 from the previous year, the library added a full-time employee and saw growth in several of its circulation areas.
“Not only have our print materials increased, but our electronic offerings as well,” Barcal said.
“We will continue to try to offer what the community needs.”