By: Diane Benjamin
The chart below is included in the Board Packet for the November meeting of the Bloomington Public Library Board. PDF page 14: http://www.bloomingtonlibrary.org/Assets/files/bpl_board/boardpackets/2018/2018.11bplboardpacket.pdf
Circulation has been declining since 2013. “Active Users” isn’t defined, but the increase isn’t because they are checking out materials.
This story recaps the facts available for October 2017, a lot of this information is no longer on-line: https://blnnews.com/2017/11/24/library-the-facts/
It shows 3105 people used the free Wi-Fi.
That information is not available in the packet for 2018, but it could be contributing to the “active user” data. Since the library is also holding more “programs”, part of the increase could be due to entertainment activities.
One thing the numbers do prove, expanding the library because they don’t have space for materials is ridiculous. Fewer items checked out mean fewer items need to be available. Compare October 2013 to 2018, circulation is down by almost 25,000 items!
If expanding the library is to have more room for public computers, comfy chairs for free Wi-Fi, or entertainment programs – the Board needs to publicly say that. The public should decide if THEIR money should fund the alternate purpose of a library.
Since the City Council has shown no support for adding on due to budget constraints, for now the issue is likely dead. Citizens need to be vigilant so it stays dead.