ANNUAL REPORT OF THE REFERENCE DEPARTMENT
GLOUCESTER LYCEUM AND SAWYER FREE LIBRARY
The Reference Department is committed to meeting the informational, educational and recreational needs of the entire community. A new part-time staff member joined us this year, Julie Preston. We continue to work with one other part-time person, Christine Garcia-Akers and the full-time reference librarian, Judy Oski.
Promotion of our resources has been a major goal this year. We are focusing on promoting our online databases as much as possible through newspaper publicity, signs and word of mouth. We have also used signs and book displays to promote our job and career materials. During the Olson centennial celebration we had a Charles Olson book display.
There were many changes to the library’s online databases this year. We discontinued Culturegrams since the usage statistics were low. We added Auto Repair Reference Center from EBSCO and Ferguson’s Career Guidance Center and upgraded AskArt to enable patron access in the library. We are especially promoting eSequels and Mango languages to increase awareness of them by patrons and staff. There were several additions to the databases provided by the Massachusetts Library System too. We now have extensive coverage of such subject areas as business, literature, genealogy, readers advisory, art, science, languages, newspapers and many more. I have conducted trials of some databases to help determine which ones might be of use to us in the future.
Interlibrary Loan is continuing to be busy and the numbers are rising. For some special requests we have ordered microfilm rolls of documents from the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian. We increasingly scan materials and send them to patrons via email. These requests often involve copies of local materials.
Our meeting room continues to be heavily used by groups of various types such as civic, governmental, professional, private, and school.
We distributed income tax forms, both federal and state. We also give out free NeedyMeds cards to help defray the cost of prescription drugs.
We have done some further consolidation of the reference print collection in order to free some space for use by the circulation department.
The Internet computers continue to be very heavily used and are often full with patrons on the waiting list.