The Burlington Public Library outpaces libraries in Coralville and Ottumwa in overall circulation, programming and collections.
Brittany Jacobs, Library Director, said the State of Iowa classifies libraries based on population, and those two communities are closest in size to Burlington.
Jacobs met with the Burlington City Council in August and provided them with anecdotal evidence of the library░─├┼┐¬Ż▒ activity. Her appearance before the council this week was to provide actual library service user data, which wasnÔÇÖt available then. ÔÇťIt was too close to the end of the fiscal year for any of this data to be available in August,ÔÇŁ Jacobs said.
Jacobs said the library services and policies set the tone but it░─├┼┐¬Ż▒ the community░─├┼┐¬Ż▒ use of the facilities and the programming that sets the pace.
The Burlington Public Library has a large assortment of books and movies to check out ÔÇô 305,270 in fact. This number includes print books, e-books, video and physical items. ÔÇťIt░─├┼┐¬Ż▒ unbelievable the number of stories people have access to,ÔÇŁ Jacobs said.
The circulation for the library was 394,239 items. The circulation is the number of books, including downloads, checked out from the library in FY23. Users of the BPL have access to over 15 licensed databases that allows for the access of information not contained within the physical space of the library.
ÔÇťWe strive for relevant information and a balanced collection,ÔÇŁ Jacobs said.
The Burlington Public Library has 15,090 registered users. The circulation in FY23 was an average 24.5 circulation items per user. The BPL service area is just under 25,000 so the average circulation for the service area is 16.4 items per capita according to Jacobs.
In FY23, Jacobs said 30,417 people participated in library programs, and of that number, 22,303 people participated in a program that was off site. Jacobs said the size of the library and the amount of people participating in library programs make it necessary to hold most events off site.
Jacobs said next summer░─├┼┐¬Ż▒ programming will take place mostly off-site because the library facility isnÔÇÖt adequate to accommodate the number of anticipated participants.
ÔÇťIt is exciting to see these numbers and what is ahead for us,ÔÇŁ Jacobs said.
Jacobs reported that computer use was down but for the same time period Wi-Fi connections increased.
ÔÇťThese types of trends help us plan. Do we take our spending away from hardware and computers and invest it in the internet? We already know that our wi-fi is used even when we are closed,ÔÇŁ Jacobs said.
A 5 -year road map will be presented to the state in February. Jacobs is collecting data from a survey available now on the library website that is asking users what they value most about the library and what services and activities they would like to see more of in the future.
The survey can be found at .