Saturday, February 03, 2007

Successful Saturdays: The Townies are coming

Before we had an automated computer management system, many library patrons came into our library, never looked at a book, asked a question, or engaged the library in any way except to sign up to use a computer. Once we began to require a library card to get online, we found usage everywhere beginning to increase. Circulation, walk-in business, reference questions, (of course computer usage), and more were used heavily.

New patron cards doubled from the same time from the previous year. The curious thing was that it was not from new residents moving into the area (even though that is a part of it). It was all the people that have lived in this town their whole life, but never used the library. Once we began to require people to get a library card, they began to use all of our services. We extracted the patrons from the database, removed the names, and put them on a map. The result was a giant blob with most new users living within a five mile radius from the library. It is amazing to see that once you begin to advertise services and require people to get a library card do they realize all the things you can do in a library. You can increase you library's usage by just adding computers. Very interesting.

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