MRL Libraries Are Serving Their Communities and Are Busier Than Ever
Village Library in Broadway is taking a second place lead in Massanutten Regional Library’s circulation figures for the seven-branch library system. Overall, MRL figures also indicate the library system is busier than ever in its other six facilities. Village Library serves citizens in the Broadway-Timberville area.
Village Library broke its June record for circulated items with 6,989, surpassing its record-breaking total of last year of 6,367. Village Library was the second busiest branch in the MRL system for the month of June and has maintained a steady increase in circulated items and library card applicants since the opening of the new building in February. While the Summer Reading Games is still continuing and the figures are not finalized, records indicate Village Library has more youth participation in its first month of the program than the entire registration figure for 2012. According to Claire Covington, Youth Services Coordinator for MRL, Village had 698 youth participants in 2012 and 750 in the month of June, 2013.
Some 251 library cards have been issued at Village Library since its new opening in February. In the Broadway-Timberville branch history, Village Library averages 15-30 sign-ups for library cards per month, according to Lora Rose, Assistant Library Director. “We are some 30-35 per cent higher in that monthly statistic,” says Rose, and she does feel the new building is a positive and influential factor.
Village Library Branch Manager Barbara Andes concurs. "We have been greatly enjoying our new space. Traffic has been brisk to say the least and the extra room has really made a difference in our ability to serve patrons," says Andes.
North River Library in Bridgewater came in as the third busiest branch with the highest number of circulated items: 6,402. Page Public Library circulated nearly 5000 items during June. Grottoes Branch Library checked out some 3,467 items, Elkton Community Library 2,384, and Shenandoah Community Library 2,314 items.
Main Branch in downtown Harrisonburg circulated some 53,211 items, breaking its monthly average of some 40,000 items. Main Branch also calculated that it served over 1000 library patrons for six days and over 900 people some 8 days during June. All in all, the Main Branch of Massanutten Regional Library counted some 20,748 library patrons who walked through its doors during the month. According to Rose, Main averages serving 600-700 library patrons per day.
Total 2012-2013 circulation figures for all seven library facilities was 722,276. During the last five years, MRL has always circulated over the 700,000 figure with the exception of 2008-2009 when it counted some 803,362 items dispersed.
The 2013 Summer Reading Games at MRL for the entire seven-library system has registered some 6,034 children, ages 0-17. As the Summer Reading Games officially closes August 3, the Youth Services Coordinator believes this figure could rise to around 7000.
Some 3,326 individuals used computers in the MRL library system for the month of June. This figure represents an average monthly usage figure. Massanutten Regional Libraries have seen 39,348 individuals use the computers in the overall yearly calculation. MRL’s fiscal year is from July-June.
According to the American Library Association, public access computer use continues to be one of the fastest growing services in public libraries. Libraries report services for job seekers as the most important public Internet service, and reference librarians at Massanutten Regional Main confirm that citizens are using computers for resume writing, job applications, college applications, and researching business issues and entrepreneurship. Patrons also use computers to check email and design and print organizational and community flyers.