Kalamazoo Loves Its Public Library

Apr 25, 2014 12:56:42 PM


Kalamazoo, MI –

KPL Celebrates National Library Week, and Another Successful Year of Serving Kalamazoo. 

Americans love their public libraries. In fact, according to a 2013 PEW Internet study, public libraries received a 94% approval rating by the American public. Further analysis done for an article in The Atlantic revealed that Americans love public libraries even more than apple pie (94% vs 81%) and baseball (94% vs 67%)!


April 13-19 was National Library Week. First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All libraries, academic, public and special participate. Kalamazoo Public Library celebrated by sharing a behind-the-scenes look at library operations with our second annual Library Snapshot Day on Tuesday, April 15. To view the photos, visit our album here.

As our fiscal year (July 1 – June 30th) nears the end, KPL would like to reflect on another successful year of serving Kalamazoo with some fun statistics.

So far this fiscal year, KPL has circulated:

  • 673,268 books, including:
     - 325,886 adult books
     - 264,185 children’s books
     - 46,906 teen books
     - 27,187 ebooks
     - 9,104 audiobooks
  • 520,431 movies
  • 68,031 music CDs
  • 7,427 Freegal music downloads (launched February, 2013)
  • 3,630 Hoopla media streams (launched December, 2013)

In addition, KPL celebrates:

  • 46,242 people attended library programs
  • 108,665 people used our public computers
  • 6,007 unique users accessed our wireless internet
  • 277,987 unique users have generated 1,611,284 pageviews on kpl.gov (not counting catalog visits)
  • 506,750 users have accessed KPL via social media (Facebook, YouTube, Flickr)

More statistics and analysis may be found on KPL’s website.

So how does KPL stack up against other public libraries in Michigan?

Kalamazoo Public Library


Class VI* Michigan Public Libraries

 KPL Service Population: 123,979 VS Service Population Average: 130,279
 KPL Circulation: 1,682,620 Average Circulation: 1,295,392

Per capita, KPL circulates 13.57 compared to the state average of 9.94 and KPL’s materials turnover rate is 4.22 compared to the state average of 2.59.

Compared with other Class VI libraries in Michigan, KPL ranked:

  • #5 for reference transactions
  • #6 for collection expenditures per capita
  • #8 for total collection expenditures
  • #9 for program attendance
  • #10 for number of registered borrowers
  • #10 for circulation per capita
  • #11 for total circulation
  • #11 for most internet sessions
  • #15 for largest population served in the state of Michigan

Other KPL Fun Facts*

  • As of today, April 25, 2014 KPL has 49,817 items checked out (includes books and audio/visual materials).
  • KPL has 27 salaried staff members with their MLS/MLIS (Master of Library Science/Master of Library and Information Science).
  • More than 1 million people visit KPL annually. That’s enough people to fill Waldo Stadium more than 33 times.
  • Kzoo residents love to read as much as they love their local beer. In March, 2014, more than 37,481 adult books were checked out from KPL. That is 1,292 books per day. In comparison, Bell’s Eccentric Café serves about 1,232 pints of beer per day, on average.
  • In 2013, KPL experienced a more than 35% increase in ebook downloads over the previous year.
  • In 2013, 8,695 KPL patrons utilized our ancestry.com database to research their family tree. These users performed 497,261 unique searches, making it KPL’s most popular database.

For more information about the Kalamazoo Public Library, visit kpl.gov. To find out what your public library is worth to you, use our Library Value Calculator.

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We certainly do!