by Zac Gordon, Staff Writer, January 2022
The recently renovated Putnam Library is home to socializing, studying, and community building. However, the true owners of the space are the roughly 15 thousand books that fill its shelves, ranging across genres from young adult to encyclopedias. After speaking with Co-Director of the Putnam Library Talya Sokoll, it became clear that the library plays a crucial role in our community beyond creating a social hub. “Nobody sees the full scope of what we do in the library because each community member uses the library in a specific way,” Sokoll said. The various aspects of the library are rooted in serving students and teachers academic and personal interests. The individualized nature is truly a huge asset to the Nobles community. Sokoll added, “As a collective we serve an enormous need in the community.” These community needs are addressed by creating, providing and teaching about various academic resources. as well as helping students check out items and loan books from other libraries. The library system is the work of not only Putnam Library staff Sokoll, Co-Director Emily Tragert, Associate Director Ella Steim, and Archivist Heidi Charles, but also numerous parents, teachers and community members who volunteer their time to help facilitate students’ accessibility to new and relevant information.
Here are some numbers highlighting the hard work and dedication of the librarians for the benefit of the Nobles’ community:
- 2016-2017: 89 classes and presentations
- 2017-2018: 45 classes taught and 18 presentations given
- 2018-2019: 93 classes taught and 29 presentations
- 2019-(March) 2020: 62 classes taught
Number of items checked out:
- 2016-2017: 2179 books, 996 tech items, 556 e-books, 474 audiobooks, 421 DVDs
- 2017-2018: 2383 books, 784 tech items, 561 e-books, 655 audiobooks, 493 DVDs
- 2018-2019: 4412 books, 1686 other items checked out
- 2019- (March) 2020: 1809 print books checked out
New Items Acquired/Deleted:
- 2016-2017: 1157 items acquired and 3096 items deleted
- 2017-2018: 112 items acquired and 677 items deleted
- 2018-2019: 966 items added to collection
- 2019-(March) 2020: 720 new books added
These are only some statistics to highlight the work conducted by the library’s staff members. The library continues to serve as a resource to many readers in the community. In fact, on average, each student checks out five books annually. In order to accommodate a massive demand for new material each year, the librarians choose which pieces to remove from the collection in order to make space for new ones. For example, in the 2016-2017 school year, about 1157 items were acquired for the library collection and 3096 items were removed. Sokoll explained that they try to keep the library’s collection of books relevant, up to date, and reflective of the wants and needs of the community. With only a finite amount of space, this requires continuous, conscious decision-making regarding what to keep or toss.
Moreover, the library team organized a community program to enhance community wellbeing and personalized academic research support. In the 2018-2019 school year, the librarians met 1700 times with students to answer questions about bibliographies and citations. They also play a huge role in promoting mental health by hosting Come and Learn Mindfulness (CALM) meetings, as well as organizing community programming events, such as board games, puzzles, and bracelet and button making; programm highlights include organizing employee family night, event raffles, and the daily crossword puzzles.
Each year, librarians find new ways of connecting the community through this important space. Next time you’re in the library, check out the book displays and consider reaching out for a one-on-one research meeting or express your sincere gratitude—a thank you can go a long way!