Flying off the shelves
Library posts record year
By: Scott Hayes
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 06:00 am
By the numbers
Items borrowed: 946,534 (up seven per cent from 2011)
Programs offered: 1,056 (up 15 per cent from 2011)
Program attendance: 46,625 (up 20 per cent from 2011)
In-person visits: 330,613 (up 9 per cent from 2011)
Website visits: 339,215 (up 10 per cent from 2011)
It was a record year for the St. Albert Public Library. The facility's board recently released a statement after going over the books, and business is booming.
We pretty much beat all records, exclaimed board chair David Climenhaga, later adding, "I'm pretty pleased. We're closing in on a million."
More than 900,000 items were loaned out in 2012, the first time that milestone was achieved. The number of visitors also climbed over 330,000, the same figure for the number of visits to its website at www.sapl.ab.ca.
But its the numbers associated with programs that are really impressive to me," he continued, referring to the 1,000-plus programs that saw attendance of almost 50,000 people. The range of those programs also continues to expand beyond the traditionally bibliocentric fare. These days, anyone can catch a game of Scrabble, join a yarn bombing club, learn how to enhance his memory, plan out travel experiences or partake in the occasional beer tasting.
"The statistics about the library really say something about the level of support from the community, and the level of interest in the services that the library provides."
He gave full credit to all of the library's team members, including relatively new director Peter Bailey who doesn't seem to be experiencing any kind of sophomore slump.
"The exceptional things that are happening wouldn't be happening if we didn't have a good staff who are very committed and very engaged by what they're doing. They're pretty smart people and that makes a big difference."
Climenhaga expects that these figures will rise as the years go by. The library continues to make changes, including the new automated item drop box at the front entrance. This is expected to ease some of the burden for the front-end staff who previously had to handle every item being checked back in. There are other administrative changes as well, like the new membership fee structure. Climenhaga was unsure if that would affect their statistics positively, negatively or even at all.
"We look forward to breaking those records again in 2013. It is gratifying to see concrete proof that St. Albertans value their library and make enthusiastic use of its services.