The preliminary Wisconsin Public Library Service Data and Wisconsin Public Library Service Trends for 2015 are now online, so we're looking at trends in the resulting data. Although many statewide totals did continue to decrease from 2014 to 2015, more libraries reported increases; often for the first time since 2009.
The largest of these increases is found in total circulation of physical materials. For 2015, half again as many libraries reported higher circulation (94) than reported an increase for 2014 (62).
|Libraries Reporting Circulation Increases|
|City (16 libraries)||13||8||8||3||1||0||0|
|Suburb (46 libraries)||42||23||12||16||9||6||10|
|Town (98 libraries)||82||45||40||37||26||12||17|
|Rural (221 libraries)||168||130||104||91||68||44||67|
|Statewide (381 libraries)||305||206||164||147||104||62||94|
So, while statewide circulation decreased 4.9% in 2015 (2,789,525 items), 94 public libraries saw the opposite where their combined circulation increased 3.2% (204,222 items). The libraries are roughly one-quarter of the 381 public libraries in Wisconsin and are located in municipalities with resident populations of 374 (Gilman) to 36,473 (Greenfield).
Optimistically, this might be a very early indication of broader increases in library use.
Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team