Tuesday, September 13, 2016

More Libraries Report Increases for 2015

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.

Number of Libraries Reporting Increases

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
Library Locale2009201020112012201320142015
City (16 libraries)13883100
Suburb (46 libraries)422312169610
Town (98 libraries)82454037261217
Rural (221 libraries)16813010491684467
Statewide (381 libraries)3052061641471046294

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.

Written by
Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team