Did you hear the report on All Things Considered recently about library use rising in response to the downturn in the economy? Well, it is not just in rural Kentucky that people are turning to their public libraries for books to read, kids’ activities, Internet access, newspapers and magazines and more, all free and all close to home. The 2007-2008 fiscal year, which ended June 30th, saw record levels of usage at the Ridgefield Library as well.
The number of visitors to the Library rose by 6,711 over the previous year, to 398,934 visits (an average of 1,170 per day). Checkouts reached an all-time high of 408,557, up 2.8% in the last 12 months. That amounts to an average of 16.9 items borrowed by every man, woman and child in town. Library staff fielded over 17,000 reference questions, and we logged an average of 81 sessions at our Public Access Computers each day. Visits to our website at www.ridgefieldlibrary.org went up by nearly 10,000 hits (a 16.4% increase), to 68,478, as Ridgefielders increasingly turned to our virtual library for more reliable answers than they could find on their own with a search engine. Subscriptions to our downloadable audiobook service were up by 6.1% and use of our wireless access rose 4.7%.
Attendance at programs reached over 19,000, due in no small part to the many wonderful Ridgefield Writes events presented in honor of the town’s tercentennial. The total number of programs presented came to 875, or an average of 17 storytimes, book discussions, concerts, author talks and more each and every week. To find out about those programs, over 2,000 families were subscribed to our e-mail newsletter and 22,193 visits were made to our online events calendar.
Whatever your motivation to come to the Library, we were pleased to welcome you during the past year and look forward to seeing you again soon.