Ypsilanti District Library posts record year; fundraising underway for teen space renovation
After a record year in 2009, the Ypsilanti District Library is preparing to renovate its teen space at the Michigan Avenue branch.
Officials say last year saw record numbers in both items checked out and events attended at the library.
Since 2001, the library has seen a 375 percent increase in items checked out. In 2009 alone, more than 32,000 people attended youth and teen events.
The library is now trying to raise $25,000 to renovate the teen zone with more computers, additional teen materials, and teen-friendly seating. The library has already rasied $7,000.
“We’ve always had services for young children, and we need to serve every age,” said Shannon Bovis, the head of youth services. “There are a lot of teens that visit the downtown library. They’ve grown up coming there and they’ve been getting really good service. The teenagers sort of expect a certain library service."
Bovis said the fundraiser was planned at the beginning of the year so people can use it as a tax write-off.
And teens aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the library’s service. People of all ages have been visiting the Ypsilanti District Library in record numbers.
“We have a lot more people coming in in the past few years,” said John Connaghan, customer services coordinator.Â “There are people who are coming into the library for entertainment and people who are unemployed who come to the computer classes and come to update their resumes. DVDs just fly out the door.”
Patrons had positive things to say about the impact of the library on the community.
“The programs are fun and it’s a great place for stuff to happen," said Ben Miller, an Ypsilanti resident and Wayne State University library science major. "Unlike a school where you’re told to read a specific book, if you want the information you can have it. That’s what I like about the library it’s whatever you want it to be."
“There’s a lot that I like about it. The idea of intellectual freedom and being able to access materials that are important learning,” said Amber Fellow, an Ypsilanti resident and Eastern Michigan University student.
And Ypsilanti District Library officials couldn’t be happier.
“We just want everyone to get a library card and use it. It’s a wonderful resource in the community. If people aren’t using it’s their lose, we want everybody to come in,” Connaghan said.