• Marina Rose

Library 2021: Year in Review


Well, it's officially the end of 2021! We made it through another crazy year, mostly in one piece (and mostly open at the library). To celebrate making it through 2021, we decided to review how the year went. Despite partial closures, the statewide crisis of care standards, and everything else 2021 threw at us, plenty of people still enjoyed using the library's multitude of services. Here's a peek at some services and items used over the year.


While not our most popular materials (that crown goes to children's items), adult items still see a decent amount of use in our library. Check out the top 5 checked-out items across the three adult categories:


Cover of Where the Crawdads Sing
Top 5 Adult Books:
  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  2. Owyhee Outpost by the Owyhee County Historical Society

  3. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

  4. The Idaho Traveler by Alan Minskoff

  5. The Overstory by Richard Powers

Top 5 Adult DVDs:
  1. The Last Black Man in San Francisco

  2. Rookie Blue: The Complete Series

  3. Jumanji: The Next Level

  4. Pride and Prejudice

  5. The Elizabeth Gaskell Collection

Top 5 Adult Audiobooks:
  1. Fair Warning by Michael Connelly

  2. Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly

  3. Absolute Power by David Baldacci

  4. The Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly

  5. Outfox: A Novel by Sandra Brown

Cover of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Next on the list are our teen materials. Our top five lists include a mix of oldies (but goodies!) and newbies. Did you read any of the following this year?


Top 5 Teen Books:
  1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  3. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

  4. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

  5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Top 5 Teen Audiobooks:
  1. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  3. The Tyrant's Tomb by Rick Riordan

  4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

  5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer


Children's titles are undoubtedly our most popular collections. And none of the library staff was surprised to see Dog Man topping the list for children's books AND overall checkouts. Dog Man: Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey checked out almost 100 times in 2021!

Cover of Dog Man: Grime and Punishment
Top 5 Children's Books:
  1. Dog Man: Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey

  2. Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls by Dav Pilkey

  3. Dog Man and Cat Kid by Dav Pilkey

  4. Dog Man: Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey

  5. Cat Kid Comic Club by Dav Pilkey

Top 5 Children's DVDs:
  1. The Croods: A New Age

  2. PAW Patro: Summer Rescues

  3. Dolittle

  4. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

  5. Frozen II

Top 5 Children's Audiobooks:
  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

  2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling

  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

  4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

  5. The Boxcar Children Collection Vol. 1: Three Complete Stories by Gertrude Chandler Warner

But wait, there's more! Beyond adult, teen, and children's materials, the library has various kits, video games, and electronic materials that our users can borrow. Let's see what was used the most over the last year:

Idaho Botanical Garden logo
Top 5 Kits:
  1. Idaho Botanical Garden Passport

  2. Ukulele

  3. Yard Dice

  4. Tie between the following:

  • Drawing/Calligraphy

  • Rocket Science

  • Sensory Play

  • Pickle Ball

Top 5 eBooks:
  1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

  2. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

  3. Educated by Tara Westover

  4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

  5. Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Cover of Cold Mourning
Top 5 eAudio:
  1. Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman

  2. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

  3. Butterfly Kills by Brenda Chapman

  4. Daylight by David Baldacci

  5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Top 5 Video Games:
  1. Red Dead Redemption II

  2. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

  3. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

  4. Marvel's Avengers

  5. CTR: Crash Team Racing: Nitro Fueled

Did you know the library offers more than just our physical and electronic collections? In addition to materials you can check out, the library offers programs and services both on and offsite to meet the needs of our community members. Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has prevented us from providing as many services and programs as we used to, we were able to offer a few things over the last year. Here are some of our favorites:


Adult Paint 'n Sip at 2C Wine Down

We tentatively planned to have a paint night at the library in November earlier this year. As fall rolled in and the statewide crisis of care standards was announced, the library had to postpone in-library programs. We still wanted to do something for the adults in our community, so we reached out to 2C Wine Down in downtown Caldwell to see if we could have an evening of painting in their facilities. We capped the registration at 15, hired an instructor, and we were off! The resulting evening was full of fun, laughter, and multiple questions about when we would offer the program again. Although we don't have another date set yet, we hope to offer this class as an annual program in the fall.


Teens Take Home Kit: Water Cannons

Our favorite teen kit this summer was an easy choice for us. Although it was one of our most difficult kits to put together, these PVC water cannons were a literal blast! Designed for our older teen group because of the complexity of the project, our water cannon kits came with everything necessary to build your very own piston based water blasting toy. We were elated with their performance and had way too much fun testing our prototype around the library.


A picture of the Reptile Zoo visit - a large snake held by the Zoo specialists and kids at the library.

A Visit from the Reptile Zoo

Over the summer, the Idaho Reptile Zoo visited the library not once but twice! For the first visit, we hosted the reptiles in our children's room - the room was packed with visitors, primarily kids, oohing and aahing over the reptiles. To accommodate the crowds, we held the second visit in Serenity Park across from the library. The kids, parents, and staff loved seeing the snakes and lizards, as well as the alligator and giant tortoise. The library will definitely invite the Zoo folks back again!

Outreach - courtesy of Monique Gaddy, Outreach Services Librarian

Outreach this year was tricky but not as difficult as the year before. We had projects during summer, fall, and winter. For summer, we worked with the Oasis Summer Feeding Program and promoted early literacy, summer reading, and library services to all nine park locations. It was sure fun to connect with families closer to where they live! In the fall, we focused on some of these locations for more extensive outreach services, working with these locations to bring out some program kits and library promotional materials. We connected with Farmway Village and the Casa de Los Colores headstart. They have enjoyed the kits we brought out!

This winter, we decided to see if there was anyone interested in partnering with us to establish a laundromat literacy center at their laundromat. We were lucky that Get the Funk Out Laundromat was interested and is now a proud owner of a literacy center that offers books to young readers and parents while they wait for their clothes to wash and dry. While our library may not be growing in the number of buildings that we have available for the public, we are always looking for creative ways to bring our library services to you!


As you can see, even with restrictions and partial closures, the library was able to offer a fair amount of services and materials for our community members to enjoy. It's been a wonderful year at the library, and we hope to offer even more in 2022!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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