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Snapshot VA Day Shows Increase in Patron Usage


Library Patron Usage Has Increased: Comparing Snapshot VA Day 2011 to 2012

Library usage for Massanutten Regional Library has increased from 2011 to 2012, according to the Snapshot VA statistics gathered at MRL for the past two years.

Since 2011,Massanutten Regional Library has participated in Snapshot VA, a program sponsored by the Virginia Library Association and the Library of Virginia. The objective of the program is to help raise community and political awareness of the impact of libraries in communities across the state. The statistics compiled in the Snapshot VA program have been used in local press releases and for marketing purposes.

The numbers show an increase in usage in all categories across the board for the seven branches of MRL. The Snapshot VA guidelines allow libraries to pick a day in April, and for the past two years Massanutten Regional Library has opted to pick a day in the latter part of April.

MRL facilities gathered statistics on April 26, 2012 compared to April 21, 2011. As a result of the 2012 Snapshot VA program, Massanutten Regional Library released the following comparative statistics pertaining to its facilities. It is important to note that these numbers were compiled in one day’s usage:

Snapshot VA 2011   2011  
Patron Visits 1200 1387
Computer Usage 100 184
Asked Reference Questions 93 153
Programs Offered 4 8
Program Attendees 136 202
Library Cards Issued 12 30
Volunteer Hours 35 42

“Various broadcast media offer consumer advice on saving in our economy. I frequently hear encouragement of usage of public libraries,” says Cheryl Griffith, Community Relations Manager of MRL. “Just recently Channel 9 NBC News out of Washington, DC ran a feature on a Maryland consumer who cancelled her on-line movie subscription service, started using her public library to check out DVDs, and saved herself $260 a year. People generally associatelibraries with books, which is appropriate, but libraries are so much more—computers, research, audio and visual media, adult and children programming, book clubs, meeting room facilities, volunteer opportunities. Libraries are vital for people looking for jobs and updating resumes.”

“Government officials who choose to cut library budgets in a down economy clearly do not have a thorough understanding of public library services offered. Fortunately, many of our local officials do understand our contribution to residents. It remains our job to make every effort to educate those who do not,” states Lois Jones, Massanutten Regional Library Director.

“I believe computer usage will only increase in our library facilities,” continues Jones. “We have more and more government entities who want their constituents to apply for services on-line, so computer usage is bound to increase in our community libraries.”

The American Library Association research indicates that public libraries may be the sole source of no-fee access to the internet for 73% of citizens without connectivity at home or work. This figure climbs to 83% in rural communities.

Most of the patron comments collected indicated computer usage, children’s programming, the library’s myriad services, and the library as a social community hub as the reasons for their regular visits to the seven branch library system.

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