It's quiet around here right now. Time enough to gather a few facts and give an annual report.
The actual report is much longer and more detailed, but I can share a few statistics with you.
Our year runs from October 1, 2006 to September 30, 2007 as we follow the county's fiscal year for purposes of budgeting.
Libraries like to collect statistics to see how we are doing. During this past fiscal year the libraries in the three counties circulated 212,299 items to library users. (Our system that checks books out and in counts everything for us.)
This figure was down somewhat from the previous year. A few factors influenced that. One: Bradford County Library was closed for a month while the library moved into their new building. And two: computer use was up. Almost 37,000 uses of the public access computers in the libraries.
That's quite a bit of contact between library staff and the public. Consider that each library item must be handled twice--once as it is checked out, and once as it is returned and shelved in the proper place. This shows many people using the library and finding good books to read, videos to watch, or books on tape to listen to.
And quite a few computer users...each one must be logged in, timed, and logged out. Many times staff are instructing users on how to use the computer or how to find a website. That's many people finding and using information valuable to their lives.
To say the least, it's been a busy year.