Monday, December 30, 2019 staff

This past year has been amazing for the library system and it couldn’t have happened without the support of our community. We saw changes like the re-opening and construction of branches. We were awarded huge grants that helped fund art, educational, and community outreach programs. And most importantly we listened to our patrons. We took away the reshelving fee and expanded our collection of books, audiobooks, and eBooks.

We hope we continue changing lives in 2020. We are incredibly grateful for everyone’s support and plan to bring even greater programming options, increase our collection and create safe and welcoming spaces for all in 2020. Below we are highlighting the best and most impactful things that happened to us this year.

  • Woodland West Reopening
    • The Woodland West Branch reopened in early 2019 after renovations. The branch closed in order to modernize the storefront and entry doors; replace rooftop HVAC units; and remodel restrooms to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • East Library and Recreation Center (ELARC)
    • In early 2019, work began on the new East Library and Recreation Center. In late 2020, this co-facility will replace the Hugh Smith Recreation Center and the East Arlington Branch. Along with a library, the new location will include a recreation and gym area, indoor pool, and senior center. Both facilities will remain open during construction. The city received a $750,000 Texas Library and Archives Commission grant to help increase the community’s access to technology within and around the future East Library and Recreation Center
  • Education and Outreach
    • We were awarded five competitive grants from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Funding supported the following events and initiatives:
      • $9,974 grant for Small Business and Leadership events, including our Better Business Book Club.
      • $10,000 grant for International Language Storytimes.
      • $10,000 grant for Nonfiction Children’s E-content, such as e-books and e-audiobooks to download through the Libby by Overdrive app.
      • $62,318 grant for Outreach, including several grant-funded staff working to bring library services to the community.
      • $10,000 grant for Author Visits to ArlingCon, our annual pop-culture convention.
  • Art is for Everyone
    • Funded through a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the library will offer free art education for the public in 2020. The Library has selected five artists to work in residence, provide classes, and display pieces in an exhibition. Classes cover a variety of art disciplines and all materials will be provided.
  • Reshelving Fees Eliminated
    • This year we stopped charging reshelving fees for requested items that are not picked up within four days. When the reshelving fee was implemented beginning in 2013, it was hoped that patrons would be encouraged to pick up their requests on time. However, patron feedback showed that the $.25 fee created frustration instead. After reexamining the policy, the reshelving fee has been eliminated!