Council receives year-end update for Chelsea library (updated)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – City Librarian Dana Polk presented the Chelsea Public Library’s year-end statistics for 2014 to Mayor Earl Niven and the Chelsea City Council at a meeting Jan. 20.

“We opened our doors in 2001, so we’re coming up on the 14-year anniversary,” Polk said. “The city has been so supportive, and I want to thank you, and I just want to let you know what I do with the resources that you’ve given me.”

The total number of patrons registered solely at the Chelsea library is 3,509, and the library added 328 new patrons this year, Polk said.

“Our circulation last year was 55,802, and, already, we’re up 10 percent from last year,” Polk said.

The library had 25,258 items in the building, including books, CDs, MP3s, DVDs, magazines and other equipment, and added Flipster to the list of e-resources.

Flipster is an e-magazine database the library subscribes to, offering 18 magazines, including such as Bicycling, Christianity Today, Clean Eating, Crochet!, Newsweek, Runners World and Mental Floss.

Children’s magazines are Cobblestone and Odyssey.

“The neat thing is you can save the book as a PDF to your computer; it’s yours,” Polk said. “You didn’t have to pay for it since the city provided it. You do need a library card to access these.”

The library offers year-round programming. The Tot Spot takes place every Wednesday for toddlers, and an annual summer reading program gives children an educational and fun avenue to explore while they are out of school.

According to Polk, 40,454 pages were read in 1,968 books during last year’s program, along with several participants receiving prizes.

The summer reading program theme for 2015 is “Every Hero has a Story.”

Polk presented a brief slideshow of photos from events held at the library in 2014.

“Thank you for the support,” she said. “We thoroughly appreciate it.”

In other business Jan. 20, the council:

•Authorized additional payment for the Foothills drainage improvement project.

•Approved for the city’s monthly bills to be paid.

•Heard an announcement from Mayor Earl Niven about the city of Chelsea ranking No. 7 on a list of the 10 Best Places in Alabama on the Movoto Blog. Along with U.S. Census date for places in Alabama with a population of more than 5,000 people, the study was conducted using the following criteria: Total amenities, quality of life (cost of living, median home price, median rent, median household income and teacher per student ratio), total crimes, tax rates (sales tax and income tax), unemployment, commute time, and weather (temperature and air quality).