Library’s virtual summer reading program overcomes COVID restrictions | St. Tammany community news

Library’s virtual summer reading program overcomes COVID restrictions | St. Tammany community news

Thanks to a series of virtual programs, the St. Tammany Parish Library’s “Imagine Your Story” summer reading program was a success, despite COVID-19 restrictions that prevented in-person events.

Teen Services Coordinator Jennifer Rifino briefed Library Board of Control members on the program results during a Sept. 2 Zoom meeting.

Participation in the program, which ran from May 15 through Aug. 8, was down significantly from normal levels, Rifino said, but enthusiasm among those who did participate was high.

Over 900 children registered for the program, as did 85 teens and nearly 200 adults. The library offered more than 150 virtual programs and events, attended by over 1,700 participants.

“I’m so proud that we were able to present a very robust summer reading program, as we do every year,” Rifino said.

In other business, the board received the audit of the system’s 2019 financial operations from John Murray, of the LaPorte accounting firm. Murray delivered a “clean” audit that found that the system’s financial statements fairly presented its operations, which were in full accord with all applicable laws and governmental regulations.

According to the audit, the system’s 2019 revenues of $11,065,334 exceeded expenditures of $10,540,389 by $524,945, leading to a year-end general fund balance of $14,979,098.

The board also authorized the formation of a strategic planning committee that will draft a request for proposals for consulting services to assist the system in developing a long-range plan to guide its future operations. The committee will include board members, library administrators and members of the library staff.

In her monthly report, Library Director Kelly LaRocca announced that the system is planning to launch a new mobile app for smartphones and other mobile devices later this month. The app will provide many of the functions available on the system’s website, including access to patron accounts and the library catalogue, checkout of electronic resources, placing holds and renewing materials.

LaRocca also announced that Crissie Molina is the new manager of the Covington Branch. Molina was formerly the Madisonville reference librarian.

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