logo, goto libary home 2017 Annual Report

Sparking curiosity and connecting our community through literacy and learning.


Welcome to the Annual Report from CEO Gina Millsap

New Mission & Core Values

The year ended with a new library mission and core values to guide our work.

Stay Curious

New Mission

Sparking curiosity and connecting our community through literacy and learning.

New Core Values

Excellence - We create experiences that anticipate our community's diverse needs and exceed expectations.

Literacy - We help people make their lives better by providing the tools to successfully navigate the world.

Curiosity - We are hungry to learn, create and innovate. We inspire our community to do the same.

Freedom - We welcome everyone in the community. We support and defend our customer's right to access information without judgment.

Teamwork - We build stronger communities through mutual trust, collaboration and shared goals.

Accountability - We serve the needs of the entire community by using resources responsibly, fairly and transparently.


Eclipse Fever

Officer hands out a pair of glasses

It started with the library's plan to give away safe viewing glasses for the historic total solar eclipse on August 21. It ended with a fevered frenzy of people coming to the library to get eclipse glasses. Thanks to the Topeka Police for helping control the line of cars that backed-up to Gage Blvd to receive 1,000 pair of safe viewing glasses.


Summer Reading
Staff celebrate surpassing the reading goal

You surpassed the summer reading goal of 3 million minutes by reading 3,626,821 minutes. We challenged babies, kids and adults to read at least 20 minutes a day for eight-weeks, library events brought more than 18,000 people to the library.

Our annual art exhibit for children in the Alice C. Sabatini Gallery included a climbing wall, a kid-created garden, a rocket launcher and Minecraft™ exploration.

The library was a site for the kids' summer meal program serving 3,814 meals, averaging 73 kids each weekday.

Facility Master Plan Progresses

Facility Master Plan
Customers use one of eight team rooms

We made a few changes to the library building this year by improving the entry with a beautiful pedestrian plaza with raised flower beds and seating. A new entrance connected the Millennium Café to the New Books, Movies & Music room with new seating along the west windows. The most popular improvement happened in the center of the library with eight rooms for small groups, dubbed "Team Rooms." Another popular change relocated the magazines and newspapers to the CoreFirst Bank and Trust Reading Room. The building on the 1001 SW Garfield property, which was donated to The Library Foundation by St. Francis Health, was demolished to make way for additional parking for the library.

Here comes the "Play Bus"!

Learn and Play Bus
The "Play Bus" provides vital literacy skills

Two years ago, we identified five community impact goals that the library would help achieve. Our number one priority is that every child would be ready for kindergarten. In just one year, the library has implemented strategies to address learning needs for the birth to 6 year olds and the community is benefitting from our work.

With only 31 percent of Shawnee County children having access to a formal preschool experience, the library worked in partnership with area educational and health organizations to address this learning gap. Nine months of planning delivered a 40-foot mobile classroom named the Learn & Play Bus (kids call it the "play bus" or "library bus"). Traveling to targeted areas of need, the Learn & Play Bus provides vital literacy skills through playing, talking, reading, singing and writing to prepare kids to enter school. The bright mural-clad bus travels to eight locations across the community. From Feb to Dec 2017, nearly 3,000 children and their families were learning from purposeful play.

Imagine if every child had books at home

Starla the dog loves getting read to

It takes more than one strategy to have every child ready for kindergarten and research makes it clear that brain development is very important in a child's first three-years of life. Further research suggests that the number of books in the home predicts later success in school. In April the library, in partnership with United Way of Greater Topeka, initiated Dolly Parton's Imagination Library so that children ages birth to 5 years will receive a book delivered by the U.S. Postal Service each month. By the end of 2017 more than 3,500 children or 20 percent of the eligible children in Shawnee County were receiving books at no cost to their family. An annual donation of $25 provides a child with 12 books a year.

When everyone reads 2Books

2 Book Topeka
An engaged community of readers

Another community impact goal is that Topeka and Shawnee County will be an engaged community of readers.

If you are curious about why it's important that everyone reads the same book, the NEA's Big Read initiative engaged thousands in our community to read the same book, talk about it with friends and attend events relating to the book topic. Our readers loved the community read but always wanted it done more often. In June we launched 2Book Topeka, which gives readers the opportunity to read two featured books. 2Book Topeka is offered three-times a year (Feb-March, June-July and Oct-Nov).

We couldn't have done it without you

We had a spectacular year, and you have made all the difference. Thank you, Topeka and Shawnee County, for your support.

We also rely strongly on some of our fiercest advocates, the Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library, to keep us growing, improving and mattering in the lives of the people we serve.

Numbers At a Glance


TSCPL 2015 Annual Report Infographic
( PDF Version )


Active Cardholders 80,977
Visitors to Library 728,422
Overall Check-Outs 2,531,200
Reference Questions Answered 219,603
Digital Downloads 366,078
Meeting Room Attendance 148,332
Digital Branch Unique Visitors 350,380

Sources of Financial Support

2017 Revenues
Taxes $17,009,336
Fees & Reimbursements $458,362
Contributions $385,745
Grants & State Aid $54,508
Investment Income $100,494
Total $18,008,445


2017 Expenditures
Salaries and Benefits $11,295,970
Other Operating Expenses $2,341,592
Debt Service $1,654,750
Library Materials $1,782,954
Equipment &
Capital Improvements
Programming & Events $71,091
Total $18,136,692

Library Board of Trustees

Kerry Onstott-Storey
Kerry Onstott Storey, Chair
Duane Johnson
Duane Johnson, Vice Chair
betty grenier
Betty Greiner, Treasurer
Liz Post
Liz Post, Secretary
Beth Dobler
Beth Dobler

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards
Melissa Masoner
Melissa Masoner
Jennifer Turner
Jennifer Miller
David Monical
David Monical
Dr. Julie Swift
Dr. Julie Swift