Forbes Library recently filed its annual statistical report with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and it's no surprise that Forbes is busier than ever!
The number of items borrowed from the library has increased 19% over last year. The two material types seeing the largest increase in circulation are ebooks (up 376%) and videos (up 68%). Much of the increase in movies being borrowed can be attributed to the Library's acquisition of the Pleasant Street Video collection last summer. Attendance at the library has increased 18% over last year. On average 96 people came into the library for every open hour, for a total of 217,675 visits in fiscal year 2012. A high level of City residents are library users, with 18,192 residents or 57% of the population holding active library cards. Library staff answered over 50,000 reference questions during the last 12 months, offering help finding recreational reading and viewing, computer and research assistance, help with job seeking and business planning, and much more. Young adults attending programs at the library increased 27% and adult program attendance increased by 43%. All of these increases were managed with level staffing and a reduced number of open hours, including being closed on Saturdays in the summer.
"This has been a phenomenal year for Forbes Library. We are so excited to have so many people continue to rely on Forbes Library in a variety of ways. Anyone who thinks the library has been replaced by the internet really should come in and look around," said Library Director Janet Moulding.