In early January, the focus of The Diane Rehm show on NPR was the role of libraries in economic hard times, an increasingly timely discussion. Her guests were the directors of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore and the D.C. Public Library, and the president of the American Library Association, an academic librarian.
They all described increases in visits, registrations, computer use, program attendance, and circulation at the same time their revenues are decreasing. Listeners who phoned or emailed in shared similar stories from their local library; folks are turning to their public library for services and materials they might have looked for elsewhere previously.
Our experience is similar. AV materials…DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, digital media…have experienced the highest increase. Circulation is up almost 40% at the central library; close to 30% across all KPL locations for the nonprint materials.
We purchase the films shown by the Kalamazoo Film Society and have established a Hot Picks on DVD collection with current, often just-released titles. As always, there is no charge to borrow an AV item, including new titles. You just need a library card. Those not on the shelf when you visit can be reserved. Just ask any staff member.
And come visit soon to browse our AV items….at any location or on our website.