Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Day in the Life of Libraries: Snapshot Day

Last week the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) coordinated a day where many libraries in the state counted all the books and other materials checked out, programs offered, movies shown, storytimes performed and so on. Berkeley Heights Public Library participated in the survey and sent BHPL's stats into NJSL. The Courier News covered Snapshot Day in an article in today's newspaper. Pat Tumulty, Executive Director of the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) is quoted in the article,
"We're looking at ... in these difficult economic times trying to figure out what would happen if we had no libraries in New Jersey by taking a snapshot of the incredible things that go on every day in New Jersey libraries."
All the library statistics are due today and will then be tabulated. For the results, go to the NJLA website and click on Snapshot Day (not yet posted.)
Here's what happened at BHPL on February 19, 2009:
300 library users came through our doors.
125 books classified as adult-level reading were checked out.
109 childrens books were checked out.
89 audiovisual items were checked out (DVD's, CD's etc.)
10 new library cards were registered.
29 newspapers and magazines were read in the library.
55 reference and research questions were answered.
55 people used the public computers for internet access.
1 volunteer
24 people watched a film at movie night
The meeting room was used by 5 different groups
The Technical Services Department cataloged 26 children's books, 28 adult books and 31 DVD's.
On this blog, we often write about reference questions. On Snapshot Day, the Reference Desk helped a mother find a poem for her 7th grader, found the date and time of the Columbia University Commencement, found and photocopied home remedies for age spots, and figured out who the detective in the wheel chair is for a fan of the Lincoln Rhyme series by Jeffrey Deaver.

If you were to add up the dollar amount that represented in savings for BHPL patrons, it would be ... a lot. I figured I saved at least $1,200. last year by borrowing books from the library instead of buying them and that's only the books I finished.


Anonymous said...

I love the stats, keep 'em coming! And this inspires me to start tallying up my own usage of the library (SFPL in San Francisco). My trips are very tidal- each day an armful out, and armful returned.

Anne said...

We will. It would be interesting to do another snapshot day for comparison. Most of the staff felt February 19 was actually a little on the slow side for BHPL.