In honor of National Library Week (April 12 – 18), several local papers published a column written by Cass County Public Library board president, Mary Dobson. The full column is reprinted below. Click here for more information about the library’s board.
National Library Week will be observed April 12-18 as a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries which include all types: school, public, academic and special. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April.
Did you know that nearly 5.5 million Missourians (91.4% of the state’s population) have access and use the 362 public library outlets? Missouri citizens used the over 4,900 public library computers approximately 6.4 million times in 2014. On average, each computer is used nearly 1,300 times per year to apply for employment, access information, complete homework or research, and connect with others.
The Cass County Public Library system consists of six branches, administrative offices, genealogy branch and a bookmobile. The system is a vital component of the county, providing resources, programs for all ages, technology access and library services to the citizens.
These 2014 statistics point to the importance of the public library in our lives: total circulation: 560,228, active borrowers: 21,719, event attendance: 38,326, computer & wi-fi use: 72,968. Computers are available for public use at every branch, and patrons may use their own laptops with the library’s free wi-fi. In addition to traditional books, magazines, newspapers and CDs/DVDs, patrons can download eBooks and digital audiobooks to personal devices. CCPL is a member of a consortium with other public libraries, providing access to millions of books and other resources. Patrons can search the online public catalog (www.casscolibrary.org) for books or to place holds on materials. They can check the calendar for upcoming programs. Or they can utilize online databases, many which are only available using a library card. A new addition to the Harrisonville and Pleasant Hill branches is a seed-lending library, which has been very popular among the garden-minded patrons.
Programming is an important component of the public library, and summer reading is the most traditional, with high participation and many activities. The children’s theme for 2015 is “Every Hero Has a Story” and the opening day is June 1 at every branch, so plan to bring your children or grandchildren and enjoy the events. Book groups, story times, teen groups and other special presentations are continually planned and presented. One of the most important assets of the CCPL system are the wonderful employees, who are there to assist the patrons.
On behalf of the Cass County Public Library, I want to thank our patrons for their support of the system and invite the citizens of Cass County to “check out” a branch during National Library Week, or anytime and remind everyone that a library card is free. You will be amazed at the quantity and quality of resources available, both in the branches and online. Our system is busier than ever, and the public library is more relevant than ever in this age of technology. Best of all, practically all these resources and programs are free!
We hope you take advantage of what many describe as “The Best Bargain in Town!”
– Mary Dobson, CCPL board president