At the Ramapo Catskill Library System’s Annual Legislative Breakfast at Bear Mountain Inn on Fri., Sept. 15, the Florida Public Library (FPL) was announced as the winner of the 2017 RCLS Member Library Adult Program of the Year for its Door to Door Outreach Campaign. The award, an engraved plaque and a check for $500, was presented to FPL director Madelyn Folino by Assemblyman Karl Brabenec.
The library’s winning program was an eleven-month campaign to sign up new patrons, inform local residents about library programs and services and reach non-users by going directly to their homes. The campaign was a joint effort of the library staff, board of trustees and the volunteer Friends of the FPL who provided funding for supplies.
In September 2016 and again in May 2017, 23 two-person teams from the library canvassed neighborhood streets in the Florida. In eighteen hours, over five days, the teams knocked on 770 doors, walked 99 miles and covered 38 streets, mostly in the Village of Florida, where it was safe to walk.
“Our service area includes parts of the Towns of Warwick and Goshen, but we focused on neighborhoods closest to the library’s central downtown location. We are proud to report that we signed up 256 new library patrons, exceeding our goal of 200 and claimed over 61% of school district residents as card holders,” said Library Director Madelyn Folino.
While knocking on doors and visiting local residents, the library teams passed out goodie bags containing program flyers and bilingual brochures, bookmarks with information on job searches, magnets with library hours, pencils with the URL www.floridapubliclibrary.org and coupons from the Copper Bottom, a Florida restaurant, which generously donates 10% of every diner’s bill to FPL when the coupon is presented to the server.
Library staff and trustees greeted residents new to the area and welcomed them to town. Of great interest to former non-users were Overdrive, the program which allows checkout of e-books and music through various electronic devices and the RCLS Mobile App which allows access to member libraries’ catalogs from a smart phone.
In addition to walking and knocking on doors, the teams also visited three kindergarten screening sessions, two back to school nights, a craft fair and spent two afternoons by the pool at Cedar Crest to sign up new patrons. They became expert at using the RCLS mobile circulation unit, which allows direct access to the system through W-Fi. Newly signed up patrons were also eligible for a prize drawing in fall and spring. The lucky winners won $100 gift certificates to Werner’s; the drawing was sponsored by the Friends of the FPL.
At the RCLS annual meeting, following the Legislative Breakfast, Diane Arcieri, president of the FPL board of trustees was elected to the RCLS board as one of four Orange County representatives on the board. She joins RCLS trustee Anita Baumann, also of Florida and an active member in the Friends. President Arcieri is a longtime local resident and a retired human resources consultant. She was instrumental in helping to develop FPL’s latest strategic plan.
For more information about the library, visit www.floridapubliclibrary.org or call 651-7659.