Monday, October 23, 2006

Edmond library is hot hot hot | Edmond Library a town hot spot.

If you have ever been at the Edmond Library just before it opens at 9 a.m. on weekdays, people are lined up as if they are waiting to get into the hippest hot spot.

“We joke that they think we’re giving money away,” said Karen Bays, manager of library operations for the Edmond Library. “It’s gratifying to be this wanted.”

In fact, the Edmond Library is a hot spot. Bays said hers is the highest circulation library in Oklahoma County. For the fiscal year that ended in June, more than 1.2 million items moved through the Edmond branch. That was up nearly 4 percent above the year before. “We’re proud of that,” she said. “We produce about 20 percent of the traffic in the library system.

“I really don’t know if it’s anything about the library,” she continued. “It’s the citizens of Edmond. They value their library and they use it fully.” She added the Edmond location has more than 142,000 books, videos and audio tapes in its collection.

Bays has worked for the Metropolitan Library System for nearly 14 years, 13 of which have been at the Edmond location. In her position, she is responsible for scheduling, budgeting and making hiring recommendations, among a host of other duties. “Some days I get so busy, I think what did I do today?” she said.

She also is responsible for setting the branch’s focus for the fiscal year. “For the current fiscal year, we’re trying to make the library more inviting to seniors,” Bays said.

During the winter months, the Metropolitan Library System sponsors Winter Read Fest. This, she said, is winter’s answer to the summer reading program. People 55 and older are encouraged to sign up for Winter Read Fest and they can enter drawings for prizes upon completing reading goals. She noted the program was especially successful in Edmond last year.

The library also has Coffee Break at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays. During this event, Bays said, seniors are invited to the library for coffee, light refreshments and some interesting conversation. “Some seniors don’t get the opportunity to socialize with people their own age,” she said. She noted political discussions are often a favorite topic...

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