Library: More customers, less circulation

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Monett, Cassville, 
Mt. Vernon lead as most popular stops

Patron use of the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library showed an increase in visitors and less materials circulated during the year ending on June 30. Director Gina Milburn noted several positive trends in her annual report.

Circulation totals remained very comparable to the previous year, though down by a little over 4 percent. Items circulated totaled 467,974, compared to 489,577 in the previous year.

Milburn credited the drop to adjusting the days and hours for several branches in the fall of 2013. The four largest branches made up 73 percent of the library's service: Monett, 97,049 (20 percent); Cassville, 89,321 (19 percent); Mt. Vernon, 84,923 (18 percent); and Aurora, 73,965 (16 percent).

Numbers for the smaller branches, designating their part of the overall library activity, included Marionville, 7 percent; Shell Knob, 5 percent. Pierce City, Miller and Eagle Rock at 4 percent; and Purdy at 3 percent.

Library branches had 24,193 more visitors than in the previous year. Staff answered 314,067 questions. Branches presented 1,427 programs attended by 23,266 patrons. Marionville had the highest attendance with 5,456 people, followed by Cassville with 4,249 people.

The Monett and Cassville branches led the way with the largest numbers in circulation, collection size and cardholders.The Mt. Vernon Branch had the most library visitors and answered the most questions. June and July numbers suggest Mt. Vernon may lead in circulation at the end of the 2014-15 year.

Material classified as "entertainment" continued to generate the greatest circulation, 77 percent of all the items distributed. The greatest items in demand included adult fiction and DVDs/videos, tied at 26 percent of the total. The next most popular items included children's picture books at 12 percent, youth fiction at 10 percent and audio books at 3 percent.

Computer use dropped slightly over the previous year. A total of 65,897 customers used public access computers and wireless Internet services. Aurora and Cassville each had 23 percent of the customers requesting these services, and the Monett Branch had 21 percent. These branches have the most public computers, Milburn noted.

"We hope to increase our usage numbers in the upcoming year since we were able to trade out new computers for old with the Technology Ladder Grant," Milburn added.

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