The Davenport Public Library is currently compiling information for their 2008 annual report, covering the months of July 2007 through June 2008. The Library is seeing an increase in statistics from the previous year, with the Main Street Library seeing record usage in the total number of computer users.
Library Director, LaWanda Roudebush, comments, “Computer accessibility for our patrons is a top priority.”
The Main Street Library alone provided 55,481 computer sessions, up more than 10% from the previous year.
“Our Main Street Library is imperative to the downtown community. We average 15,000 visitors per month to this Library location, and provide reference services that are vital to numerous businesses across the Quad Cities,” Roudebush said.
It is not unusual for libraries to thrive during an economic downturn. According to the American Library Association’s 2008 “State of America’s Libraries Report,” Americans visited their libraries nearly 1.3 billion times and checked out more than 2 billion items in the past year, an increase of more than 10 percent in both checked out items and library visits, compared to data from the last economic downturn in 2001.
Davenport Public Library has exceeded those records. “More than 395,000 people visited the Davenport Public Libraries this year. That’s an increase of 5,104 users from last year, and a 30% increase from 2005,” said Roudebush.
Other areas of growth include library program attendance, circulation, and interlibrary loans.
“I think one of the reasons libraries thrive during an economic downturn is that people are looking for inexpensive things to do for entertainment. This may lead them to the Library, where they then realize that a public library is not anything like the library they visited as a child. We offer new release entertainment DVDs. We provide educational and entertaining programs for people of all ages. We have downloadable audio-books and videos. We check out video games. Most importantly, this is all available to anyone for free,” Roudebush concludes.
Stop by either of our locations and find out how we can help you!