Chattanooga Public Library logo in white.
Fiscal Year 2021
Annual Report
Corinne Hill, Executive Director of the Chattanooga Public Library

Letter from the Director

Welcome to our Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Report. This report covers July 2020 – June 2021, a year that involved the pandemic, elections, and a census. Those alone would make for a challenging year, but for us at the Chattanooga Public Library, we saw it as a year to expand now and into the future.

As a library that strives to provide services worthy of a highly connected, rapidly changing, and often unpredictable world, we saw many transformations throughout our system. From establishing services that grew out of our pandemic response to hiring a diverse pool of new staff, we have expanded what the Chattanooga Public Library means to our city. 

If you don’t know what the future holds, you might as well go ahead and invent it. As you read through our FY’21 report, I hope you see our vision for the future.

Signature of Corinne Hill

Our Mission

To be the community’s catalyst
for lifelong learning.

Our Vision

An inspired, connected,
and engaged Chattanooga.

Our Values

Accessibility, Inclusivity, and Diversity

Communication Building

Education and Intellectual Freedom

Enhancement of the Quality of Life

Innovation and Responsiveness

Programs with a Purpose

Our Library Branches

5 Locations

Chattanooga Public Library downtown building

Downtown Library

1001 Broad St.

Northgate Library building

Northgate Library

278 Northgate Mall Drive

Eastgate Library building

Eastgate Library

5705 Marlin Road

South Chattanooga Library building

South Chattanooga Library

925 West 39th Street

Avondale YFD Center building

Avondale Library

1305 Dodson Avenue

Hands typing on a laptop that is displaying the library's website

Digital Library

Our Numbers

Check out how we did this year compared to last fiscal year.

Our Collections

Our collections contain all physical and digital materials available for checkout, including books, DVDs, tools, audiobooks, ebooks, and streaming entertainment. The COVID-19 closure decreased our physical circulations but increased our digital circulations.

FY20 FY21
Physical Materials Owned 209,615 200,625
Physical Materials Circulated 782,815 573,260
Digital Materials Owned 562,465 566,086
Digital Materials Circulated 176,438 207,671
Total Materials Owned 772,080 766,711
Total Materials Circulated 1,136,321 780,931

Our Community

Our community is you, our borrowers, our students, and our volunteers. 

FY20 FY21
Borrowers 95,115 89,203
Adult Borrowers 57,086 51,023
Young Adult Borrowers 38,029 38,180
HCDE Students with Cards 35,416 29,157
HCDE Circulations 86,781 55,036

Our Services

Our COVID-19 closure impacted the number of visitors and services we offered, but we did see a big increase in people who needed public computer access during the pandemic.

FY20 FY21
Notarizations 1,046 382
Passport Applications 155 70
Passport Services Revenue $62,691 $1,920
Public Computer Sessions 70,210 95,159
Public Computer Minutes Used 3,687,180 4,917,696
Web Users 372,306 247,405
Web Sessions 664,220 567,054
Meetings/Events Hosted 199 150
Outreach Events 134 14
Visitors - Eastgate 64,267 3,266
Visitors - Downtown 145,125 6,633
Visitors - Northgate 69,747 3,499
Visitors - South 26,713 1,494
Visitors - Avondale* 16,783 0
*Note: Avondale was closed along with the City Community Center through FY’21.
Visitors - Total 322,635 14,892

Our Programs

Our programming events support Hamilton County Schools’ curriculum and promote literacy, technology, science, lifeskills, art, music, and inclusivity. The COVID-19 closure did reduce the number of in-person programs, but our digital programs reached new, bigger audiences.

FY20 FY21
Total Events 2,816 1,749
Total Attendees 56,925 62,400
Child (0-4) Events 1,521 948
Child Attendees 33,577 27,836
Tween & Teen Events 373 598
Tween & Teen Attendees 6,276 8,465
Adult Events 658 725
Adult Attendees 7,248 14,222
All Ages Events 264 147
All Ages Attendees 9,824 14,041

Library Spotlights

Accessibility Upgrades


While our Main Library was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act passed, the Library is a place for everyone. During FY’21, we upgraded the main entrance to automatic, sliding doors.

ADA bathrooms were also added to all 4 floors in our Main Library, with an electric adult changing table in our 1st floor bathroom.

FY23 Capital Projects also include an upgrade to the elevators for better accessibility.

Digital Library


  • On March 14, 2020, the Library suspended physical book checkouts and in-person programs as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Physical book checkouts resumed with the introduction of Curbside Concierge services on June 16, 2020, but the increase in digital checkouts continued.
  • To meet the demands, the Library increased its digital collections budget by 32% and created a new Online Resources button on the homepage to make digital collections more accessible.
  • There were 207,671 digital checkouts in FY’21, a 17% increase over FY’20.
Hands typing on a laptop that is displaying the library's website
  • In-person programs, especially our popular early literacy programs, did not resume in FY’21.
  • Video programs were initially launched on Facebook, but migrated to the new permanent home for video programs, This custom YouTube channel allows for anyone to access programs without a login or email address and from any device, including a TV.
  • Since launching in October 2021, videos have been used over 100 times in Hamilton County classrooms and 66 times on WTCI’s local Educate channel.

Noise Closet


  • The Noise Closet, an instrument lending library for ages 10-17, debuted on June 21, 2021.
  • Through a partnership with Chattanooga Girls Rock! (CGR) and support from the Lyndhurst Foundation and UNFoundation, the Library now offers guitars, drum kits, keyboards, amplifiers, and accessories for free checkout up to 1 month.
  • The new collection contains all of CGR’s instruments and makes them available to other tweens and teens during the year when CGR camp is not in session. Campers from the CGR 2021 camp chose the collection’s name, The Noise Closet.

Awareness Campaign


  • In FY’20, the Library contracted local creative firm Humanaut to create a full-length commercial, short digital clips, and billboard artwork advertising the Library’s services. 
  • Humanaut, advertising firm for companies like Organic Valley, Lyft, and West Elm, provided a unique view into the Library’s value to the community.
  • Using FY’21 budget funds, the Library spent $26,600 on commercial air time from EPB cable and streaming services, WTCI/PBS networks, and ABC and FOX-affiliate stations; 23 area billboards from Reagan Advertising; and YouTube and Facebook ads.
  • The campaign ended in early July 2021 with the following results over the previous year:
    • Unique website visitors increased by 26.4%.
    • New library cards increased by 143%. 
    • Existing account updates increased by 202.5%. These include card renewals and library cardholders updating contact information.
  • A second phase of the Awareness Campaign is planned for early 2022, upon the return of in-person programs.

Culture of Philanthropy


  • Michael Watson, Director of Library Development, joined the Library in FY’20 with the goal to create a culture of philanthropy throughout the system with an emphasis on employee engagement and customer appreciation. 
  • The Library launched its first annual Employee Giving Campaign in April 2021 during National Library Week. Library staff donated a total of $6,390. 
  • Watson has also strengthened relationships with community donors and brought on new donors, including Thompson Foundation, BlueCrossBlueShield of Tennessee Community Trust, Lillian Colby Foundation, and Weldon F. Osborne Foundation.

Chattanooga Public Library Foundation


  • In July 2021, Friends of the Chattanooga Public Library voted to change their name to the Chattanooga Public Library Foundation (Foundation), under current Board Chair Anne Najjar.
  • The Foundation raised a total of $27,234 during the 2020 calendar year.
  • The Foundation also added membership levels in 2021 and raised $4,743 in new annual memberships. Those levels are:
    • $25 Mind Spaces (College Students)
    • $50 Preschool Pals (families with preschool children)
    • $100 Maya Angelou Society
    • $250 William Shakespeare Society
    • $1,000 Ex Libris Legacy Society
  • SkyLib, the Foundation’s bookstore located within the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, generated $3,800 in 2020.
  • The Foundation also accepted a total of $37,701 in grant funds for the Library.
  • For 2020-2021, the Foundation’s strategic plans include:
    • An additional bookstore location
    • A new Foundation Office Space in the Main Library Downtown.
  • Want to be a Friend of the Library? Visit their website to become a member, make a donation, and find out about upcoming events.

Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Community Health

  • Vaccine Clinics at the Library launched in July 2021, at the beginning of FY’22. Through a partnership with the City of Chattanooga’s new Office of Community Health and LifeSpring Community Health.
  • Clinics now take place every Monday and Friday at the Main Library, offering all three COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots. These serve the entire community, but are specifically accessible to low- and fixed-income residents of Patton Towers and individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Working with the Office of Community Health, the Library plans to launch more vaccine clinics and other health initiatives at other library branches throughout FY’22.

Looking Forward

Americans and the Holocaust

  • A travelling exhibit sponsored by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the American Library Association will open January 2023 at the Main Library downtown.
  • The Chattanooga Public Library was chosen to be one of 50 host libraries out of 250 applicants.
  • There will be a VIP fundraising event hosted by The Foundation.
  • The Library will also offer 4 education programs for a variety of ages.

Board of Directors

William Sundquist

William Sundquist

Board Chair

Susan Robinson

Susan Robinson


Erik Broeren

Erik Broeren


Jess Friedowitz

Jess Friedowitz


Kim Gavin

Kim Gavin





Tom Griscom

Tom Griscom


Sarah Hope

Sarah Hope


Sara McManus

Sara McManus


Daniel Walker

Daniel Walker


Jocelyn Loza

Jocelyn Loza


Dionne Jenkins

Dionne Jenkins


City & State Support

We couldn’t operate without the City of Chattanooga, who provides 99% of our funding, nor the grants we receive from the State of Tennessee. Thank you to our local and state representatives for fostering our innovation and giving us the tools to serve our community, even during a pandemic.

Signature of Corinne Hill
City of Chattanooga Seal

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly

Chattanooga City Council Member Chip Henderson

Chattanooga City Council Member Jenny Hill

Chattanooga City Council Member Ken Smith

Chattanooga City Council Member Darrin Ledford

Chattanooga City Council Member Isiah Hester

Chattanooga City Council Member Carol Bertz

Chattanooga City Council Member Raquetta Dotley

Chattanooga City Council Member Anthony Byrd

Chattanooga City Council Member Demetrus Coonrod

State of Tennessee Seal

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

Senator Bo Watson

Senator Todd Gardenhire

Representative Yusuf Hakeem

Representative Robin Smith

Representative Greg Vital

Representative Patsy Hazlewood

Representative Esther Helton

Foundation Donors

Thank you to all the generous donors who are committed to creating a library for all!

$25 - $49

Angela Hursh

Jennifer Cloud

Tom Ransom

William Wade

Susan Sisson

Patrick Smith

Christene Tudisco

Patricia DePriest

Lori Stenger

Jaclyn Anderson

Michelle Headrick

Carol Guerra

Janice Groseclose

Aamna Khan-Fazlic

Tom Dubose

Franklin Rolston

Sarah Lambert

David Sachsman

Sheryl Ammons

Jeanette Winn

Elizabeth Monson

Margaret Banks

Jacob Ellis

Kate Colquitt

$50 - $99

Kincaid Mills

Mickey Long

Caroline Walker

Alison Sexter

Shannon Edmondson

Margaret White

Aaron Fowles

Louise Spector

Amy Donahue

Jennifer Thompson

Richard Groves

Karen Gamble

Craig Barrow

Jane Elmore

David Tugman

Heidi Kelly

Monica Baker

Christian and Rebekah Schlotterbeck

Angela Ballard

Sherry Campbell

Linda Lindsay

Margaret White

James Milburn

Larry Alexander

Susan Robinson

Mary Jane Levine

Joseph Bozich

$100 - $249

Gwenda Gregory

Don Elrod

Robin Balser

Tom Adkins

Joel Hausler

Heidi Kelly

Gary Galante

April Berends

Karen Brown

Sheldon Owens

Lee Hope

Melissa Davis

David Kling

Bob Clark

Herb Cohn

Danielle Fernandez

Brandy Hines

Samantha Schmidt

Evelyn Hunter

Steve Watson

Thomas Griscom

Allen Chesney

William Sundquist

Sylvia Hutsell

Susan Kemp

Debbie Smith

Janet Christoph

Howard Kaplan

Michael Greer

Christina Sacco

$250 - $999

Susan Epps

Christene Tudisco

Anne Najjar

Meg Crimmins Beene

Will and Sarah Clegg

Ben Swann

Jon and Sharon Law

Robert Boehm

William and JoAnn Wilkerson

Howard Kaplan

Theresa Liedtka

Jean & Rick Botto

Ex Libris

Marshall Horton

Kimberly Gavin

Corinne Hill

Michael C. Watson

Dorothy McDuffie

Michael Williams

Organizational Donors

Arts Build

Colonial Chemical, Inc.

Double Cola

Southern Energy

The Weldon F. Osborne Foundation

Fidelity Charitable

Geoffrey Sidney Cohn Fund

Adkins Books

The Thompson Holdings Foundation

Lillian L Colby Charitable Foundation

Dillard & Associates, LLC

Community Partners

Thank you to all our community partners for sharing our vision of an inspired, connected, and engaged Chattanooga. We look forward to growing with you in 2021 and beyond!

Signature of Corinne Hill
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