2017 in Review
by Andrea Gilmer
At the beginning of every new year, the library system – all our various departments and branches – compile all our stats on how many people walked through our doors over the course of the previous year, and how many items were checked out, and more. So, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what these stats mean to us, and to you as part of the community we serve.
To begin, we saw 400,168 people at our eight locations in 2017. Outside our walls, at the community events we participated in (such as the Bossier Night Markets) we talked to 5,609 people. We had 24,904 people attend programs hosted at our branches; to say we are pleased with these numbers would be an understatement.
But we didn’t stop there, we also gathered other numbers. For example, we counted programs hosted at all of our locations (1,348 in case you’re curious), and we attended another 80 hosted by other organizations. Taking these numbers in comparison to our attendance numbers gives us an idea of whether or not we’re succeeding in meeting the interests of our patrons with our programming.
We also keep track of checkouts, as in how many of each type is checking out. So, we know that in total we had 739,335 library materials (books, audiobooks, DVDs) check out which also included digital or other materials in these forms: 40,828 eBooks and eAudiobooks, 18,570 streamed movies, music and more from Hoopla, 119 laptops, 339 WiFi Hotspots, and 47 Book Club Kits.
Continuing in my (slightly) digital content vein, we reached 210,026 people through social media. Just as a reminder, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We provided computer access for 49,927 people and another 103,028 used our databases. I won’t go into details about our databases right now, I may have mentioned them in previous articles…and I’m sure to mention them again in the future.
Flowing from our database stats, I have to refer our Reference Department (get it?), which has incredible librarians who have handled 10,639 questions in person, over the phone, via email or text. Plus, our Circulation Staff have helped 3,845 people get new library cards. That doesn’t include all the card renewals for everyone whose card expired, or the 183 cards our Community Engagement Department issued at various events.
Do all these numbers mean we’re effectively serving the publics’ needs? Well, we think we’re doing pretty well, but we also take this as a challenge to do more in 2018. Do you have ideas or requests for programs or materials or services that we don’t have yet? Let us know. You can help us decide how to best serve the parish. We are the public’s library, after all.
Tues., Mar. 13 @ 11:00a.m. – Book Club: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough; ages 18 and up
Fri., Mar. 9 @ 3:00p.m. – Teen Time; ages 13-17
Bossier Central 746-1693
Fri., Mar. 9 @ 10:00a.m. – Creating an Email Account; ages 18 and up (Registration Required)
East 80 949-2665
Tues., Mar. 13 @ 10:30a.m. – 3 C’s: Coloring, Coffee, Companionship; ages 18 and up
Mon., Mar. 12 @ 4:00p.m. – Crazy 8’s Math Club; ages 9-12
Historical Center 746-7717
Sun., Mar. 11 @ 1:30p.m. – Second Sunday Screenings: Suffragette; all ages
Plain Dealing 326-4233
Mon., Mar. 12@ 9:00a.m. – Alzheimer’s Awareness; ages 18 and up
Sat., Mar. 10 @ 2:30p.m. – Rubix Cube Workshop; all ages
Sat., Mar. 24 @ 10:00a.m. – BLOOM! Festival, all ages (R.W. Norton Art Gallery)