The end of the year always brings the opportunity to look back and reflect on what happened during the year.. 2023 for New Carlisle Public Library has been a year of exciting changes, additions, and growth.  Our mission is to foster the community by providing opportunities for creative learning and by connecting people with resources and services to enrich lives.

Below is a list of what I feel are the highlights from the year…   Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!   Roanna Hooton, Director

Program Highlights:

  • Healthy Living Series for Seniors was started with a grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph Count.   We were able to host a series of exercise and cooking programs.  They were so well attended that we decided to continue the exercise programs through the rest of 2023 and into 2024.
  • Summer Reading 2023 was a huge success!  We had a total of 307 people sign up for Summer Reading. The number of reading minutes logged almost doubled from 2022, with 244,767 total minutes read.  We gave away books (donated by Friends of the Library) and ice cream coupons (donated by Meyers’ Ice Cream Shoppe).   We hosted three mini kids camps, including cooking, STEM, and art.   
  • Together with Historic New Carlisle, we co-hosted a whole month of activities and programs centered around the life of Gene Stratton Porter.  We tied a quilt, attended an impersonator presentation at the New Carlisle Historic Museum, hosted a book club, and visited Spicer Lake.

The Exploration Garden exists to remind us that play is an essential part of childhood. There is no substitute for time spent outside imagining, exploring, discovering, and creating. Come and play for a while.  With this vision in mind, we added a sandbox, a play barn, and many small toys for everyone to enjoy during the warmer months. 

We added two new staff members this year.  They have made a great contribution to our team so far.  The staff also walked in two parades this year, Hometown Days and Christmas in New Carlisle.  We could not do what we do with our support staff!

Our youth department added both Readiness Kits and Interactive Play Stations in 2023.   A Readiness Kit is a fun way to explore an early literacy topic or skill. We all want kids to be successful learners and lifelong readers. Early literacy provides opportunities for children to develop a rich vocabulary. The Interactive Play Stations change on a monthly basis in the children’s department.   It is an area designed to encourage creative play with props such as an ice cream shop, a vet clinic, and a post office.  

Our Friends of the Library group continues to grow.  They were a great help this year with the Summer Reading programs, Spooky Night, and, of course, the two annual book sales.  Because of their dedication to our library, they were able to donate $6000 for 2024 programming:  exploration garden additions, new toys, helping start our seed library, and providing Winter Reading prizes.

2023 Numbers (as of December 1):

  • Circulation: 71,235 items, up 4.91% from 2022
  • Visitor Count: 43,290, up 5.4% from 2022
  • Rooms (meeting room, activity room, study rooms) were used 873 times
  • Programs: We had a total of 431 programs at the library.  Attendance reached 5,300 people!  This is up 44% from 2022!