Library sees surge in use during 2015

Increases include a 26% rise in digital borrowing

Newmarket Public Library released its 2015 usage statistics this week, showing a substantial increase in the use of the library by the community during the previous year.

Overall borrowing of materials increased by 9% in 2015, over 2014, with a whopping 26% increase in electronic borrowing; mostly e-books, e-audio, downloadable music and streaming video. Even print book borrowing was up by 5%.

“It’s not surprising that e-borrowing is up,” says CEO Todd Kyle. “People’s habits are changing, and the community is discovering the expanding digital services and collections offered by the library, including online courses and downloadable music.”

Some digital services of the library, such as online general interest courses, are not expressed as borrowing numbers but by site visits, logins, and searches. Total website visits increased by 4% last year, with a 50% increase in the use of online resources. Much of that increase came from Web search results for York Info, the library’s community information and volunteer database.

Last year, York Info added King Township Public Library to the partnership it has with other libraries in York Region, an alliance that now includes five libraries. York Info is also the provider of local data on social services for the provincial 211 service.

Visits to the library in person were also up by 4%, and the proportion of checkouts being done on self-service machines increased from 42% to 59%.

“Clearly these statistics correspond with the way people have embraced digital technology and continue to do so,” says Kyle. “The Library’s mandate is to ensure the community has access to knowledge and learning in all its forms.”

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