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Branching Out Director’s Note – December, January, February 2017-18

We’ve had a year of great success at Durham County Library and looking forward to even greater success stories in 2018.  It’s important that we take a moment to honor our past – Durham County Library has a long history of success.  That success dates back to June 1895.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to recount our history from 1895 to present day.  However; I do encourage you to read the full history on our website.  It’s important to acknowledge today that we stand in the shadows of the hard work of those before us.  As the first free, tax-supported library in North Carolina we have a lot of reasons to be grateful. We had key leaders that can only be described as true visionaries that realized the value of libraries.

When we think of embracing the present, my first thought; we’ve had a banner year of success.  Staff at each location and within each unit have provided exceptional customer service. We need to embrace what we have accomplished in furthering our mission of encouraging discovery, connecting the community and leading in literacy.  Some of the accomplishments include:

  • Bicycle Helmets & Safety Training
  • Tutoring
  • Book Clubs, Comics Fest
  • DIA – Children’s Day, Book Day
  • Fourth Annual Storytelling Festival
  • Humanities Programs
  • Launch of Love and Liberation – A History of LGBTQ+ Durham
  • Second Annual Teen Literature Festival
  • Storytimes, Writing Workshops – Honoring Your Stories
  • STEAM Programming at the MakerLab
  • Summer Reading

This really only touches the surface of what we have accomplished. For fiscal year 2017 I offer a few statistics that demonstrate the reach we are having in the community:

  • 2,554 Children’s programs were offered with an attendance of 66,655
  • 932 Teen programs were offered with an attendance of 9,845
  • 2,206 Adult programs were offered with an attendance of 97,148
  • Additionally we circulated nearly 3 Million physical items and had nearly 7,000 volunteer hours

Embracing the present is what allows us to move forward and plan for the future.

In the upcoming year you will hear more about five priority goals that align with the County Strategic Plan.

  • Literacy
  • Bridging the Digital Divide
  • Workforce Preparedness & Development
  • Capturing the Culture of Durham
  • Transformation of Main Library

These priority goals will offer clear direction in how we plan, budget and program.  It will allow all of us to row in the same direction and move our library system forward in a way that’s beneficial for staff and the community we serve.  All of this will not be a simple task and we will most likely have some bumps along the way.  I’m confident that we will learn from those bumps in the road and move full speed ahead.

It’s truly an exciting time for Durham County Library and our community.  Please take a moment to share your story of what Durham County Library means to you; feel free to share via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter or sending an email to

Happy New Year and best wishes to you and yours!

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