Wednesday, January 06, 2010
My Favorite Report every year…
For starters, we have actually increased our circulation of library items and our walk-in traffic every year for 14 years, including the storm years. This year was no exception: walk-ins to our three libraries are up 10.14%, with an 18% increase at West Chambers. We’re anticipating more walk-ins on the west side with the new apartment and sports complexes due to open shortly. The west side, as anyone can tell you, is busting at the seams (and so is that library branch).
Circulation of materials is also up, even more than the walk-ins. We have a 13.23% increase in total items, with print materials increasing 16.28% over last year. Who says the book is dead? Our total walk-ins for 2009 are 170,154, and our total circulation is 260,537 items.
Of course, everyone always wants to know about our technology statistics. It always seems that the computers are taking over; they certainly have changed how we do business at the libraries. CCLS added two online databases to our budget last year, the first we ever purchased. They are Ancestry.com, a genealogy site for in-house use; and OverDrive.com, a site for downloading books, videos, and e-books. Adding these to the State Library’s databases available to us provided the library system with a 43% increase in use of databases over last year. We have seen increasing use of laptops by patrons visiting this year, thanks to the wifi/hotspot access provided; we even see patrons using laptops in their cars outside after hours! With smart phones now becoming more common, we expect these gadgets will also access our library wifi, giving even more local folks a better bang for their buck.
And of course, programming at the libraries continues to leap forward, with expansion of our efforts to attract teens and adults along with our perennially successful children’s programs. The corporate support we got this year for our Summer Reading Program allowed us to purchase top events at each library, and it showed: our children’s programming increased – hold your hats – 64% over last year! It’s no wonder our staff members were exhausted, as well as extremely pleased.
Teen programs were developed this year at the east and west sides to mimic the success stories at Anahuac; we had over 1000 teens and tweens attending young adult-specific programs, again an increase of 23.35%. We’re working very hard at finding the magic formula for attracting adult audiences and we have baby step successes; we had 396 attendees for our efforts this year, which is way up from last year’s trials, so we’re still quite happy.
We currently have over 8,600 library cards active in our database, and when you consider that these are “family” cards, with more than one person per card, you can see that we have managed to interest a good percentage of residents of the area. Go libraries!