By Michael Christianson
Dayna DeBenedet, Chief Executive Officer for the Dryden Public Library presented an enthusiastic annual report to council this week.
DeBenedet was praised by the councilors for her dedication and that was reflected in her 2017 numbers.
60,000 people visited the library last year with 2501 active cardholders including 374 new cards this year.
Close to 60,000 items were checked out from the library’s collection, which includes print materials, audio and other media.
The public computers were used over 6500 times but DeBenedet notes that more people are coming in to the library with their own devices to use the public Wi-Fi.
The library held 2349 programs in 2017 with 3250 attending; the library offers a wide variety of programs from cooking and knitting to a recent breakout room challenge.
Recently the library received a grant from the Retired Teachers of Ontario to develop an Indigenous collection for children and youth that will include a collection of books, audio, language learning materials for youth from K-12.
“We spoke with the schools at Eagle Lake and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation to get their input on the collection and some material that they think may be a good fit for our library,” said DeBenedet.
Looking forward the library is excited to see the results of a recent study that is already showing positive returns.
“We did a social return investment study to find out what the impacts of the library are in the community,” said DeBenedet. “We’re just kind of waiting on some of the final touches but one of our findings was that the social return of the library is somewhere between $14.37-$18.68 for every dollar that’s invested so it’s pretty exciting and we’re just looking forward to getting the final results in the next few weeks.”