The library is ending 2009 on a very positive note. This was a big anniversary for DBRL, and I want to thank all of you who helped us celebrate by playing our 50th Anniversary Challenge  game. Hundreds of you played along, and we awarded book store gift certificates to four lucky winners .
This year, circulation  region-wide will exceed the two-million mark, with an expected 7% increase over the number of items checked out in 2008. We have seen more and more people come to our libraries and bookmobiles (about 900,000 visits by the end of the year!) to browse the collection , attend a program , use a computer  or take advantage of the free Wi-Fi.
In addition, the ongoing enhancements to our web site make it a digital branch that people can use 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And, with the approval of DBRL’s Strategic Plan  and the 2010 implementation strategies, the staff and board are excited about new plans  for improving your library services next year.
Recently the library was also the proud recipient of three awards. The Columbia Public Library received recognition for both its architecture and public art when it won two Columbia Image Awards : the Inspiration Award for “Cypher,” our entrance sculptures; and the Striking Structure Award for architecture. This is the first year for the Columbia Image Awards, created by the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau recognizing institutions “whose vision, imagination and dedication to the community have resulted in places and spaces that create a positive impression of the city.” See the article  for a link to information about the other nominees and winners and a photo of the beautiful award sculptures created by local artist Susan Taylor Glasgow.
The third award is the Professional Excellence award, a part of the new Women in Business awards created by the Columbia Daily Tribune. I was honored to receive this award which I really feel reflects the achievement of the library as a whole and all the talented, enthusiastic staff and board members of DBRL.
Thank you, our patrons, for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for library services and for helping to make 2009 a great year. We look forward to making your library even better in 2010!