I used to work at a place that had eight Xerox machines. Because the machines were getting old and temperamental, we saw four of the local technicians fairly regularly. One year, within the space of a few days, three of the tech people announced that their wives were pregnant. When I commented on the odds against that, one technician looked me straight in the eye and said, "Reproduction is our business."
I have several more stories with a slightly different message.
There are lots of ways to measure the performance of a library. The most important ones are deeply personal. Do you like to BE there? Are you well-treated by staff? Do you find interesting and useful materials?
Another kind of measurement is more quantitative. At the end of our fiscal year (end of December), our computer system cranks out all kinds of reports. I thought I'd share some of 1997ís numbers.
On Christmas Day, at 2 o'clock in the morning, my 9-year-old daughter woke me up to say "Merry Christmas!" I had at that point been in bed for a solid, restful stretch of almost 45 minutes. But with true Christmas spirit, I responded, "Go back to sleep!"
Maddy vibrated with anticipation for another four hours. (We could feel her bed shake through the floor boards.) Eventually, she did get us all assembled before the glittering tree with its mounds of gifts.
A couple weeks back I picked up the December 28, 1996, Denver Post and read about the vicious beating of a woman in Grand Junction, the murder of a 6 year old girl in Boulder, and the state-sponsored slaughter of half a million people in Rwanda.
In the same issue I read that "Dougco wants driven students" -- an announcement about the Douglas County School District's new International Baccalaureate program.