APL sees more traffic, circulation

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 2, 2010

While the uncertainty of the economy continues to linger, one entity is thriving as a result of the poor economy – libraries.

Andalusia Public Library Director Karin Taylor said this is a trend that has always followed a recession.

“We have people come in here at record numbers,” she said. “People utilize our services by conducting job searches or medical research.”

Taylor said medical books are expensive, so many patrons come to the library to do free research.

“Our circulation is up 20 percent over what we normally do,” she said. “Last month our circulation on all materials was in the upper 5,000s to the lower 6,000s.”

Taylor said that number is compared to the library’s usual monthly totals.

One of the fastest growing media patrons are checking out is the video and audio collections.

“We try to keep all of the current titles,” she said. “People can’t afford to go and rent the movies. They can come here and check them out for free.”

Another popular checkout is audio books, which popular titles are read aloud and place on audio CD.

“When people go on a trip, it takes most of their money to pay for the gas,” Taylor said. “They can come here and check out the book and pay nothing for it.”

While Taylor said the library’s circulation numbers typically grow during the summer months, this has been one of the biggest summers.

“The economy has contributed to this greatly,” she said. “A mother can bring her children and they can all be entertained, reading or using the Internet and at no cost.

“It’s something free, and it’s worth their time,” she said. “It’s really phenomenal how everything has blown up.”

Taylor attributed the success of the children’s library programs as one of the reasons for the high volume.

Taylor said the library has one of the greatest returns of anywhere.