Library is crowded and busyIt may be crowded and too small by some standards, but residents throughout the Hudson area continue to use their library. In 2008, 323,964 items were circulated from the facility at 911 Fourth St. According to Jim O’Connor, chairman of the Library Board, that amounts to 1,100 volumes per day, six days a week.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
It may be crowded and too small by some standards, but residents throughout the Hudson area continue to use their library.
According to information provided by the Hudson Area Joint Library, circulation has increased by 160 percent since 2000 and by a rate of more than 12 percent per year. That compares with a statewide circulation increase of 32 percent over the past eight years.
In 2008, 323,964 items were circulated from the facility at 911 Fourth St. According to Jim O’Connor, chairman of the Library Board, that amounts to 1,100 volumes per day, six days a week. “At only an inch an item, that would be a shelf of books over 90 feet long going out and coming back into the library every day. And that’s not even counting people using newspapers, magazines, reference materials, and the 19,000 people who used the computers.”
The facility has 13 computers for public use and could use more, but there is not space for them in the current facility. The library has added automated self-checkout as an efficiency measure.
A referendum to purchase the former NMC building at Locust and First streets and relocate the library there failed in the November election. O’Connor said a committee is working on “where to go from here.”
“There are things definitely beyond our control at work in the community and the economy. We don’t have anything to report at this time, but we are looking at options,” said O’Connor. He said he expects they will have something to report within the next six months.
O’Connor said the numbers clearly show that public interest in library services is high and continues to grow. He points to the strong children’s library programs along with efforts being conducted by the Friends of the Library like the recent Job Service workshops.
“The importance of the library, particularly in hard times, is clear. The value of free information and entertainment for residents for everything from job hunting services to books and movies is more vital than ever,” said O’Connor.
He advises people interested in the future of Hudson Area Joint Library to be sure the municipalities where they live know that they value library services. “The city of Hudson is currently looking at their comprehensive plan. The last one put a good library at the top of the list – ahead of parks, streets, even the police. Residents should let the city know how they feel this time around as well.”
Hudson Area Joint Library statistics