Indicators: Library Usage

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Source: Institute of Museum and Library Science, Oregon Library Support and Development, Washington State Library

Public libraries provide free access to information to all community members regardless of race, ethnicity, income, disability, and age, and are a source of arts and culture for children and adults. A strong and well-utilized public library system is essential for developing an informed population. The books, lectures, and computers provided by libraries provide all populations with a means of continuing their education outside of educational institutions.

The latest library usage data available shows that in 2016, residents in Multnomah County borrowed on average twenty-five materials from libraries that year. While Multnomah County library users borrow more compared to state and national trends, this marks a decline from previous years. Multnomah County still remains one of the most active counties in the country with the nation’s second highest circulation rate.1)Institute of Museum and Library Science, 2017. Library circulation is up in Clackamas, Washington, and Yamhill Counties and holding steady in Columbia County, Oregon, and Washington while Clark and Skamania counties experienced a slight decline.

Today, libraries are being used in very different ways from in the past. More users are coming to libraries to use technological services (like Wi-Fi) rather than to borrow hard copy or print materials. Program attendance at libraries is also increasing. In short, libraries are staying busy, but just in different ways.

References   [ + ]

1. Institute of Museum and Library Science, 2017.