2011 Overview

TADL Activity Overview
In the year 2011 TADL maintained a steady drum-beat of strong traditional services with continuing growth in volume while integrating a response to the new ways patrons can use the library, such as improved remote access services and providing ever increasing electronic resources.
Between 2009 and 2011, lending transactions increased by more than 10%, information requests at the Woodmere (Main) Branch Reference Desk increased by nearly 30% and collection size increased from 312,945 items to 329,281 items.  While use of the public computers was relatively stable (limited by number of computers available), use of TADL wireless service increased by 40%.   Although 2011 was the first full year that e-books and downloadable audiobooks were available and patrons downloaded 9,092 titles, explosive growth began in January of 2012. 
Revenues, predominantly from local property taxes, slowed significantly in 2009 and 2010 and began to fall in 2011, while expenses continued to rise.  Significant effort in 2011 was devoted to capturing efficiencies and reducing supply costs in order to withstand the economic downturn without dipping into a long term fund balance for routine operational expenses.  So, while health insurance and payroll costs as well as supply costs continued to rise, the library district actually reduced personnel and supply expenditures and was able to increase its investment in the lending and electronic collections.
To withstand continuing declines in revenue as well as increased costs expected in years to come, TADL began planning in 2011 the upgrades to its infrastructure that would assure continued labor cost and materials savings while addressing the always changing needs and demands for library service.  
Economies and Services
  • The public computing facilities were completely automated district-wide in 2011 allowing for self sign-up, automated payment for paper use and an equitable automated method of regulating time on the public computers when others are waiting.  This change greatly reduced TADL cost while actually increasing access.  The change allowed for additional public computers throughout the district without experiencing additional staff cost.
  • In an effort to better connect with library users, TADL launched its first online, monthly e-newsletter, capturing considerable savings in paper and postage.  The new format offers patrons instant access to news and events, allows greatly increased distribution and contributes to the "greening" of our environment. This was made possible by the Friends of the Traverse Area District Library. If you are not currently receiving the monthly TADL e-newsletter but would like to, please click here to sign-up.
  • The Teen Services program got a boost when a Teen Services Coordinator was appointed for the first time.  As a result, the use of that collection has increased by 25%, an active teen advisory board has been formed and programming has been taken to all six TADL facilities, bringing in more participants than ever before.  
  • The TADL payroll process and financial management systems were completely automated and upgraded.  Free giveaway of plastic bags was discontinued at a savings of $10,000 per year and replaced by re-usable bags, sold at cost.  
Programs and Community Collaborations
During 2011, TADL improved outreach efforts, working with local organizations within our community to help highlight library resources and facilitate access to information.
  • The Financial Literacy Series, sponsored by MSU Extension and Investor Education and funded by a grant from the Investor Protection Trust, Washington, DC and the AARP Foundation. The free programs offered members of our community tools and information to better manage their financial lives.
  • TADL teamed up with the local Traverse City SCORE chapter to offer small business mentoring at the Main (Woodmere) Branch on Saturdays as well as monthly small business workshops, the second Tuesday of every month. The workshops are free of charge and topics included an Overview to Planning and Starting a New Business, Financing a New Business, Marketing, Preparing a Business Plan, Buying and Selling a Business, and Financial Statements.  This is a strong partnership that provides additional support to budding entrepreneurs and established area business owners who are looking to expand. it also adds significant value to the business information resources TADL has traditionally supplied.
  • TADL Launched Access Video, a free, 24/7 online streaming video service available through www.tadl.org. This online resource offers TADL cardholders living within to TADL taxing district instant access to many thousands of full-length videos and video clips— documentaries and features in the fields of history, science and the arts from major producers such as PBS and BBC -- viewable in the library or from any location with Internet access, at any time. This is a major educational resource for the TADL community.
  • In December, TADL partnered with Traverse City Light and Power to add Kill-a-Watt TM power meters to its library-lending program. Patrons concerned with the amount of energy they are using are now able to borrow a power meter kit by placing a hold for pick-up using the TADL online catalog or by stopping any TADL facility.  The power meter measures energy consumption by the kilowatt-hour and estimates the electrical consumption and costs associated with each appliance by the hour, day, week, month or an entire year. This collaboration was a great way to help patrons reduce their carbon footprint by visiting their local library to check out a power meter.
  • The Woodmere (Main) Branch of the Traverse Area District Library hosted the completion celebration for the TART Trails Access to Recreation at Boardman Lake project. The project, started in 2010, created a safe, accessible connection route between the gardens, library, boathouse and TART’s Boardman Lake Trail. TADL continues to support and encourage all kinds of transportation options to its facilities and is excited to see this project completed.
  • In September, the TADL East Bay Branch, housed in the charming and historic 103 year old East Bay Township Hall, celebrated 20 years of service to the East Bay Township community with an ice cream social event that featured award winning singer/songwriter Kitty Donohoe and local talent Pat Ivory along with the Traverse City Central High School Chorale Aires. The East Bay Branch has been operating as a branch of TADL since 1991.
Your comments and suggestions....
"I love the library! It is awesome!! Thank you so much." 
"Can you make library cards for our key chains? They would be smaller and easy to carry."
"I love this place. Don't make any changes."
"More books"
"Lack of parking is a real frustration. I had to drive around the lot 2x today waiting for someone to leave. Thanks."
"Library, how do you manage so many books and so many people? I've come here for a my whole life and I never knew how."
"Thank you for offering the Mango language course. I am going to start the Mandarin Chinese course tonight."
"Library, I think all you do is just wonderful! The people that work here are so nice!! and you (of course) have a great selection of books!"
"Dear library, it's so wonderful here! I love having so many books to choose from!" 
"Dear library, thank you for everything you do, I love it here!"
"More teen books!"
Respectively submitted by Metta T. Lansdale, Jr., TADL Director