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Library circulation up, visitors down

Director unworried, citing online, digital use

– Although circulation numbers were up for the first half of the year, the number of visitors was down because of online and digital products offered at the Allen County Public Library, its director said.

“Most of our focus in the virtual environment has affected circulation numbers,” Director Jeff Krull told library board members Thursday.

Circulation includes traditional books, movies, musical CDs, ebooks and document downloads.

Krull used the genealogy department as an example, saying that before the department digitized 85,000 documents, it had zero circulation.

“Since digitizing, we have people downloading those documents from all over the world, so that counts toward the circulation numbers.”

The circulation from January through June last year was 4.6 million and this year that number is 5.3 million for the same time period.

Circulation does not include computer usage, which is down from 651,996 to 635,414 uses this year.

The number of patrons coming through library doors is down slightly – from 2.1 million during the first half of last year to 2 million during the same period this year – but Krull was still pleased.

Because many people access the library and its materials electronically – 15 percent of library renewals were done with mobile apps during the last quarter – Krull said he is monitoring the number of patrons who pay a visit.

“We seem to give people lots of reasons not to visit (with the digital and online services), but we still see a lot of people coming through the doors,” Krull said. “We are a community center, and we continue to make progress.”