By Jim Wilkerson
On Wednesday, August 18, Lincoln Parish Library Interim Director Marcie Nelson presented statistics for July to the Library Board of Control. Overall, the numbers were positive.
Concerning the summer reading program, Nelson was pleased to announce that of the 784 participating students and adults, 314 met the minimum requirements to complete the program. “We’re above the curve in every compartment,” Nelson said. “We’re very proud of all our participants.” The “pre-readers” and “tweens” had the highest completion rates at 48 percent each, with the adult readers finishing just below that at 41 percent. Overall, 40 percent of the participants completed the program.
Nelson did note that total visits to the library went down from 11,926 in June to 10,524 in July, but circulations remained about the same at just above 17,300. Nelson hypothesized that the decrease in the number of patrons is primarily the result of family vacations and last-minute preparations for the new school year.
Further, library database usage increased from 302 in June to 373 in July, though those numbers are nowhere near the January and February figures of 1,288 and 2,448 respectively. Since the beginning of 2021, database usage declined significantly, but July’s numbers could mean that there is a potential rebound.
Surprisingly, though school is out, study room reservations increased considerably throughout the summer – from 83 in May to 140 in June to 205 in July. Nelson noted that this was primarily due to local businesses using the rooms during the Delta surge in order to have isolated job fairs, etc.
Regarding budget issues, the library still has $17,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds that need to be used. The staff has already purchased 50 new computers with those funds, and Nelson is getting quotes for several other services, such as hot spots, tablet checkout programs, and eCards. Nelson informed the board that the library has until December 31, 2021, to spend the funds.
Summer statistics here:
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