Last year, Throckmorton Library had the highest circulation in the Army, surpassing the next closest installation by over 16,000 checkouts. The total of 163,634 checkouts was the highest in the library’s history, said Angelique Simmons, head librarian, Throckmorton Library.
Simmons credits the increase in circulation to a continually updated collection. She said whenever customers ask for an item, the staff tries to get it for them.
The library usually receives new material on a weekly basis. The items include requested books or DVDs, as well as books from the Army Chief of Staff or command reading lists. Simmons said they will even purchase books if children are participating in a special project and need them.
“We’re just here for the people of Fort Bragg,” she said. “This is their library and we will build it and have everything available for them that is needed.”
Simmons and her team perform outreach at many community events, including Bragg Training and Education Center education fairs, Corvias events and the monthly Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation 5Ks.
“That way we’re informing people — we’re here, these are the services we offer, come see us,” she said.
Throckmorton also offers several programs to encourage reading and library participation in patrons of all ages. The largest of these is the summer reading program, according to Simmons. Last year, 2,400 children and adults signed up for the program, which required them to read a certain number of books for an opportunity to win prizes that included gift certificates, a laptop and more.
Another summer library program is unique to Fort Bragg, Simmons said. The math pie-rates program reinforces basic math skills for children in first through sixth grades and highlights books that correspond to the math theme of the week. This program was new last summer, but will be back again this year.
All members of the library staff play an integral role in keeping Throckmorton on top, Simmons noted.
“From the people promoting the programs at the circulation desk, to the reference staff and the cataloguers that are processing the material to make sure it’s readily available … we really care about the people here on Fort Bragg,” she said.
Her advice for the Fort Bragg community?
“Just stop in. You’ll leave with more than what you came for.”