Library of the Year Fact Sheet


Wauconda Area Library
Tom Kern, Library Director

NSLS 2005 Library of the Year

Fact Sheet:
Library Accomplishments of the Current Fiscal Year

  • Named NSLS 2005 Library of the Year (North Suburban Library System)

  • Total checkouts are currently up 11.5% over last year’s total, and will reach close to a half million by the end of this fiscal year.

  • Program attendance is up 36%. 

  • Usage of the library web site is up by 42%. 

  • Patron visits are up by 11%.

  • The promotional tools used to achieve these numbers are proving effective, and have required that the library staff work better as a team.  The staff has worked well together in improving the library’s image and visibility throughout the community.  The library web site, e-News and the expanded FOCUS newsletter have been ambitious endeavors which have proven highly effective and serve as models for other libraries.  The library has been named NSLS “Library of the Year” because of our heightened visibility not only throughout our community but throughout the NSLS library network.

  • Established library e-newsletter for distribution to more than 2,000 library patrons with active email addresses -- two issues per month

  • Established wireless high-speed Internet access for laptops throughout the library

  • Established new hands-on computer training lab

  • Substantial improvements in collaboration with School District 118 libraries for optimizing library services for all Wauconda Area students from Kindergarten through 12th grade

  • Established web-based Live Homework Help service now available to all Wauconda Area students, 4th grade through college freshman

  • Most successful Library Card Sign-Up Month and business partnership to date, with 531 new card registrations and 110 participating businesses

  • Most successful Annual Friends Book Sale to date, earning more than $3,800 for the Friends of the Library

  • Worked with the United Partnership for a Better Community in winning Governor's Home Town Award for Wauconda through Community Calendar project coordinated by the library and hosted by the North Suburban Library System and its NorthStarNet service.  Worked with the partnership's Senior Coalition to establish a web-based Senior Resource Guide.

  • Added curbing and repaired grass along all unfinished portions of the library's driveways, thanks in part to permission granted by the Wauconda Historical Society and School District 118.

  • Substantial increases in all library materials budgets in order to enable continued upgrading of all collections

  • Refinanced the 1996 library building bond at a lower interest rate, resulting in a total net savings to taxpayers of $196,000 over the remaining 11-year term of the debt.  The Library District received an affirmation of its “A1” rating from Moody’s Investors Service.

  • New signs at building entrance and street entrance have been ordered and are expected to be installed in April.  The current sign near the street entrance was installed as a temporary sign to replace the original sign which had been destroyed by high wind.  The original sign was fully insured, and the insurance claim of about $4,600 has been paid.

  • Established or increased developer impact fees for Island Lake, Volo, and Wauconda, resulting in new fees which are nearly twice the former fees and which are more in line with the costs to be incurred by residential population growth.

  • Adopted an Ethics Ordinance for the library which regulates political activities and the solicitation and acceptance of gifts by library trustees and employees.

  • Developed a 3-year spending plan

  • Six new white pines were planted in an effort to replenish the grove of trees between the library building and Main Street.