Hands Down, the Best Value in Town

2012 Annual Report

Three Customer Stories

shamecha2_lowresWith colorful murals, a solar system and some new reading spots, the Kids Library is truly a destination for ShaMecha Simms and her son, 3-year-old Tatum, who spend quality mommy/son time here weekly. The Kids Library improvements continue thanks in part to a $75,000 gift from the Junior League of Topeka to The Library Foundation and $30,000 from the Friends of the Library. It’s an environment that inspires, educates and promotes exploration. The transformed space helps children go from learning to read to reading to learn. But if you ask Tatum, it’s just a fun place to play. The library has about 23,000 cardholders age birth-18.

maria_lowresMaria D. Rodriguez knows the value of using the library. She and her husband checked out library materials to help with planning their wedding and honeymoon – and saved money doing so. They moved in together and found the Bookmobile stop nearest to them. With expanded hours of Bookmobile service, it’s just sometimes more convenient for these working professionals to get their books and movies close to home. And, a visit to the library offers ample opportunity for “together” time, from exploring an art exhibit to attending a concert. More than 81,000 people attended 3,457 on-site and off-site library programs in 2012, including 94.5 Country’s Bridal Fair.

The library understands technology and how our community uses it, said Karl Fundenberger, managing director of FWD, a local web design and social media consulting firm. Karl likes the library’s Digital Branch, tscpl.org, and its Facebook and twitter profiles because he can stay up-to-date on library happenings. In 2012, Karl was the face of our Ebooks for Libraries campaign. More than 10,000 readers from around the world signed the petition. This effort prodded publishers who either reluctantly sell or refuse to sell ebooks to libraries. Still, the library added more than 8,000 ebooks and audio to its collection in 2012.

Downloadable Annual Report
Tap inside for pdf version containing more fun library stats


Sometimes before you go forward, you must take a look back. 2013 will bring faster Wi-Fi inside the building and take more librarians out of the building. Reflecting on how we’ve arrived at this place, we keep circling back to you, our customer. We plan for the future with our customers’ needs in mind and promise to continue to listen as needs change.

New Catalog
Find the stories you want in our online catalog. Installed in May 2012, it offers an experience similar to Amazon.com. Features of the new catalog include a list of coming-soon books and search help for those times when you just can’t recall the exact title. You can also subscribe to text message reminders for pre-overdue and overdue items.

Ebooks for Libraries Petition
Some readers have voiced frustration when the stories they want are not available in ebook format – the result of publishers reluctantly selling or refusing to sell ebooks to libraries. As a result, your library launched an Ebooks for Libraries petition, raising 10,000 signatures in three months. Together with readers from around the globe, we sent a message to publishers that readers want books in all formats from their libraries.

Kids Library
The transformation to the Kids Library has made it a true destination for children and families. You’ve already been enjoying a new bronze bench dedicated to the READ dog program, but look for more 3-D objects moving in soon. Studio Displays, of Pineville N.C., has been awarded the bid to complete 3-D “learnscapes.” Installations, like a school bus full of books or lighthouse-shaped reading nook, will delight and facilitate reading and learning for kids of all ages.

Expanding our Reach
Bookmobiles are a great option for busy families and working professionals. Based on customer feedback, we revamped our Bookmobile schedule in 2012, offering 10 more hours of service each week and extra time at busier stops. Anything you can check out at the main library can be delivered to a Bookmobile stop near you. You may have also seen us at more community fairs, festivals and parades. And thanks to a partnership with Shawnee County Parks and Recreation, you’ll soon be using library computers and printers in the community centers.

Good News Financially
We are working to future-proof your public library so that the community can enjoy a world-class library experience for generations to come. We refinanced our bonds on the library in 2012. We pay off the “mortgage” in 2019, and with the savings on the debt, $995,000 may be re-allocated to services, collections and programs and grow the library by reaching out to part of the community that is currently underserved. It literally changes our future by allowing us to recover from significant cuts we experienced beginning in 2008 and by growing the library by serving more people than ever.

Our ability to quickly respond to our community’s needs is possible thanks to support from The Library Foundation and the Friends of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Finally, a heartfelt thanks to all of our cardholders – we hope you continue using us and inspiring us in 2013 and beyond. Please see downloadable pdf how and why people used their library in 2012.

By the Numbers

2012 at a Glance

Check-outs 2,236,855
Visitors to the building 798,894
Visitors to the Bookmobile 100,000+
Children with library cards 23,000
Total cardholders 88,115
People attending meetings 141,959
Program attendance 81,151
Reference questions answered 263,689
Unique visitors to the library’s Digital Branch 475,065

In 2012, the library provided $28 million value to the community through check-outs and services offered. Discover what value using your library provides you; tap into our online value calculator.

Revenues and Expenditures

Library Revenues
Total: $16,858,185*
Sources of financial support include:
$15,640,570 in taxespiechart_revenues
$812,553 in fees and reimbursements
$268,459 in contributions
$90,212 in grants and state aid
$46,391 in investment income

Library Expenditures
Total: $16,806,664*piechartexpenditures
Salaries and Benefits: $10,696,462
Other operating expenses: $1,822,519
Debt Service: $1,781,227
Library Materials: $1,682,227
Equipment & Capital Improvements: $692,663
Programming & Events: $131,566

*unaudited figures

The video annual report features customers ShaMecha Simms, and her son, Tatum Greule, Maria D. Rodriguez, Karl Fundenberger, Vince Frye, Larry McCoig and staffers Nathan Hohl and Gwen Stanley

Produced by TSCPL’s Creative Group: David King, Marie Pyko, Rob Banks, Michael Perkins, Nancy Overmyer, Diana Friend, Richard Kobs, Lisa Coble-Krings and Jeff Tate

Lisa is a former employee and shared the library story in many of her posts.

6 thoughts on “Hands Down, the Best Value in Town

  1. Sorry to say I dont completely agree. I think our library has taken some serious steps back, and talking with patrons I’m not the only one with this outlook. But….when you start spending like mad you need to increase revenue, and thats what the changes did. Even with the reduction in services in some areas and customer service Topeka still has one of the best libraries I have seen.

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