Greetings from the new Perry Hall Library! My name is Darcy Cahill, and I am fortunate to be the manager of this beautiful new branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system. We opened on March 9, 2009, and have had a fantastic 18 months. The business level for the new library exceeded all expectations, and we are deeply grateful to the community for your support. Perry Hall residents weren't kidding when they said they needed a larger library, as the statistics I am about to share with you demonstrate.
Our first full fiscal year ran from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. In that year, our new branch had 243,911 visitors, which is an average of 20,326 customers each month. Those customers checked out 680,815 items throughout the year, an average of 33 items per customer. Our branch consistently ranks fifth in circulation among BCPL's 17 branches.
Our staff is ready to answer your questions and help customers of all ages find great books to read. This past year we answered over 152,169 questions from our customers. Last week a customer saw a delicious blueberry dish on a cooking show that she wanted to bake for a birthday that evening, and we were able to track down the recipe for that "Blueberry Grunt." One of our 100-year-old customers "finally has time to read," and we keep him well stocked with good books. We even found wonderful children's books for the 2-year-old who has already decided he would like to grow up to be a paleontologist!
We offer free programs for customers of all ages, which were enjoyed by over 15,405 customers last year. This was the highest program attendance for all of our branches last year. Our baby and toddler storytimes offer music, stories and playtime fun for our littlest customers, and our book club members enjoy lively book discussions each month. Family programming includes everything from live animal programs to the Bubble Lady, one of our local celebrities!
Our computer centers are busy places. We offer 28 computers for adults, six for teens, and our children's area has five computers well stocked with fascinating learning games. We had 40,826 computer sign-ups over the past year. Customers use our computers to look for jobs, write papers for school, or stay in touch with friends around the world. We offer introductory computer classes that cover basic keyboard and mouse instruction, as well as classes in how to search the Internet and use our catalog and databases. We recently had a customer who is 100 years old "graduate" from our classes.
If you haven't visited your new library on Honeygo Boulevard, we invite you to stop by. With fall approaching, it will soon be cool enough to turn on the fireplace in our beautiful Magazine Room, where you can curl up with a good read. Be sure to check out our column in the Patch each week to hear the latest news from your library.