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IMCPL Records Nearly 3 Million Patron Visits in 2009

July 21, 2009

Computer lab at Central

Central Library Computer Lab assistant Anney Swan provides Indianapolis resident William Sims with guidance in searching online job sites. With its free public computers, IMCPL is playing a larger role in teaching patrons how to use online resources and other basic computer skills.

Whether it's checking out popular materials or taking advantage of free computer access, library patrons are continuing to use the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library in growing numbers.

New statistics reveal that over 2.9 million patron visits were recorded at IMCPL 23 locations during the first half of 2009, a 3% increase over the same period in 2008, a year that set a record with over 5.6 million patron visits and nearly 16 million items circulated.

Library usage in 2009 showed increases in all categories: 8.5 million items circulated (a 9% increase over the same period in 2008) 592,000 computer hours logged (a 24% increase); and 5.1 million visits to IMCPL's web branch at www.imcpl.org (a 13% increase). The web branch allows patrons to review the Library's catalog, place holds on materials, access online databases, view the Library's calendar of events, and other activities.

"The Library is increasingly being viewed as the community's information center," said Laura Bramble, IMCPL's Chief Executive Officer. "We're well positioned to meet our patrons' growing demand for information, both with materials and electronic resources," she added.

IMCPL also has recorded over 19,000 new registered borrowers, bringing the total number of library cardholders to over 488,000. The library card allows users a range of free services that include checking out materials from IMCPL's collection of nearly two million items, accessing over 60 online databases, downloading audiobooks and more easily doing work on public computers at any library location.

"We've seen our computer usage skyrocket this year," said Bramble, who explained that more people are using the Library's computers in their job searches and to file unemployment claims, as well as to learn basic computer skills.

Central Library downtown continued to fulfill its role as a community destination with nearly 478,000 patron visits in the first half of 2009, a 2% increase over the same period in 2008. Central Library also saw a 13% increase in items circulated over 2008. In addition to free classes in the Computer Lab, Central Library has presented over 1,500 free educational and cultural programs in 2009, including over 1,200 for children and families in The Learning Curve.  Community groups and individuals are taking advantage of Central Library's meeting rooms and unique areas that can be booked for special events, with 370 meetings and events held so far in 2009.

Books increased their standing as the format of choice among patrons in 2009, accounting for nearly 70% of items checked out, up from 62% in 2008. Books were followed by DVDs (20%), music (7%), audiobooks (3%) and VHS (.5%).