Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Carroll Public Library’s usage data for the past fiscal year show that 28 percent of the materials circulated were checked out by people outside of the city limits, in the unincorporated area or from smaller nearby cities.

Some of the cities contract for library services, while people from towns with their own facilities take advantage of the state’s open policies with borrowing books and movies and other items.

According to fiscal year 2011-2012 data, 77,790 of the checkouts were from the City of Carroll, 18,430 were from rural Carroll County, 7,721 came through town contracts and 4,043 were from Manning, Glidden and Coon Rapids, cities with their own libraries, according to a Carroll Public Library official report.

“The library has statistics to prove that libraries aren’t going away,” said Carroll Public Library director Kelly Fischbach.

The wildly successful Summer Reading Program showed similar out-of-town pull as 60 percent of the kids participating were from the City of Carroll with the remainder coming from the surrounding areas.

“We’re drawing people to town,” Fischbach said.

She said that buoys the local economy as families shop and eat in Carroll after visiting the library.

Attendance continued at more than 2,300 weekly in the summer, according to a door count in July.

From July 9 to 13, library officials counted an average of 471 people a day coming through the doors, compared with 463 a day from July 18 to July 22 in 2011.

Having just completed its first full year of offering electronic-book downloads, the library reports that books on CD remain far more popular. The library circulated 3,242 books on CD last fiscal year, compared with 1,088 books for Amazon’s Kindle eReaders and 1,071 for other eBooks. Books on tape stood at 264 check-outs.

“The online is just helping the overall circulation or library use,” Fischbach said.

During the fiscal year — which covered July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012 — there were 13,014 total uses of computers in the library with an average session time of 52 minutes.