Great Library builds Community- Susan McVey

Posted in: Club Newsletter, Featured, In The News, Reflections Articles

Susan McVey

“A great community is built around a great library and a great library builds a great community.”

Lisa Scottoline at the 2017 Literary Voices event


Every spring the Metropolitan Library System Endowment Trust sponsors an author dinner to raise funds for library programs and services, to encourage the love of reading and literacy in our community, and to recognize community leaders who have demonstrated leadership in achieving these goals.


A number of Club 29 members were present at the 2017 event including President Terry Cooper, who served on the event dinner committee.  It was a wonderful evening full of laughter, good food, and inspiration.  I’m sure that those who were in attendance would agree it was a great success.  I wanted to share the good news we heard about the Metropolitan Library from Executive Director Tim Rogers, also a Club 29 member.  Here’s the progress report he made:


You may know that the Mission of the Library is to grow smarter communities, one person at a time.  There is no monument to growing those smarter communities than the 19 library buildings that serve our more than 750,000 residents.  On the building front Tim highlighted the following milestones


  • The new Jones Library opened in December, 2016.
  • Capitol Hill remodeling will open in Fall 2017
  • New Bethany Library underway that will open in Fall 2018
  • Belle Isle renovation to start next fiscal year.
  • Del City and Edmond each passed sales tax referenda for new building projects, and the 2017 General Obligation Bond will include 4 renovations or new construction projects.


As part of our Strategic Plan, we’ve identified that we need to help our members Learn Smarter, Work Smarter, and Live Smarter.


To do that, we have identified 4 strategic experiences:


Collection Anywhere:  delivering books and digital materials when and how members need them

  • Added more than 200,000 ebooks to collection
  • Launched an eBook submission platform from local authors
  • Created in-house publishing — Park Hudson Press – Our Day at the Zoo, more to come


Playful Learning: focus on learning activities for families and kids of all ages

  • Created “At the Library after School (ATLAS) program for teens
  • Homework Help program that will be extended to all libraries – including online component
  • System-wide early childhood literacy program for birth to age 3


InterReach: going into the community (not waiting for them to find the library)

  • ONEcard — every child in school with a library card. All 36,000 Oklahoma City School District students now have cards and MLS is working with the other school districts in Oklahoma county.


Tech Experiences:  using technology to deliver more and better experiences

  • Laptop/Chromebook checkout at Almonte
  • Kindle Fire Lending with wifi Hotspots (Warr Acres and Choctaw)


  • More than 10.6 million visits (physical and virtual) – a 7.5% increase over previous year
  • Summer Reading — Involvement increased by 9%
  • Worked with the OKCPS Summer School to register 3rd graders
  • 30,354 new members (population only grew about 7,000)
  • 5,872,000 items lent
  • 17% increase in eBook use
  • 7 million wifi uses and nearly a million computer uses
  • 92,000 people attended 4,300 classes/programs




1 Comments for : Great Library builds Community- Susan McVey
    • Dick Hefton
    • April 20, 2017

    One critical element not mention explicitly, Susan; the premium staffing!
    One day last week I took my 3rd Grade Monroe mentoree and his 9th Grade Taft brother (my former six year charge) to Bell Isle to introduce and orient them to the many assets at the library. The stuff there took over immediately and worked one on one with both boys for over an hour during a busy busy time of day. Each lady took a special friendly and personal interest that sent my boys off feeling special and sold on the value of the system.
    Six years with Pedro and another three with brother Edgar finding this great tool makes me look forward to the day three years hence when I can pick up
    brother Carol in the 1st Grade!
    Thank you so much for giving an important insight into this premier local asset!

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