Demand for children's materials continues to rise year over year here at the library.
Last year, we circulated 36,200 items in the youth-services department.
That's up from 34,400 the year before, and up by 5,000 over 2012 numbers.
I don't know what caused the jump from 2012 to 2013, but I bet a lot of the increase last year came about because we started the 1,000 Books B4 Kindergarten program.
Circulation was up year over year in almost every children's category except junior fiction. Board books, picture books and easy readers were all up slightly.
One thing we couldn't possibly measure was use of our new playground equipment. But, I sure saw a lot of moms and toddlers out there when the weather was nice. If you have not seen the gear, stop by.
What's the most popular category of materials in terms of numbers of checkouts?
For the year 2014, DVDs were the most checked-out items. The total was 26,484.
Patrons checked out 20,500 works of fiction during the year, compared to only 8,400 works of nonfiction and 4,700 books on CDs.
I don't have the numbers to show which nonfiction categories were most tapped into, but I will go out on a very substantial limb and say that we probably checked out nearly zero works in our genealogy section. That category has almost entirely moved online, what with Ancestry.com and similar sites.
I don't have a breakdown on how many children's books were checked out, but after we instituted our Read 1,000 Books B4 Kindergarten program the number zoomed upwards. I can tell that by what is checked back in on a daily basis.
Every time you check out at the front desk at the library we give you a receipt.
The receipt shows you what you checked out and when it is due to be returned.
But the receipt also tells you how much you have saved during the year by borrowing rather than buying the materials we have given you on loan.
Books are expensive these days. And DVDs aren't that cheap, either.
During the year 2014, patrons of the library saved a grand total of $1.9 million by checking out books and other materials rather than buying those same things.
That's nothing at all to sneeze at.
Our patrons checked out works of fiction more often than they did works of nonfiction in 2014, according to our end-of-year statistical analysis.
The most popular novel was a surprise to me -- "Carnal Curiosity" by Stuart Woods.
The second most-checked-out novel was actually a six-way tie. But, interestingly enough, three of those six were by David Baldacci. They were "The Finisher," "King and Maxwell" and "Stone Cold."
Others in that group were "Gone Girl" by Gillian (no surprise there because the movie came out in 2014), "Sycamore Row" by Grisham and "Moving Target" by Jance.
Among works of nonfiction, the item most checked out was "Killing Jesus" by O'Reilly (at the rate he's going, I'm guessing that O'Reilly will get around to "Killing Carroll Wilson" after my untimely demise), followed by "David and Goliath" by Malcolm Gladwell.
I've not read the "Jesus" book, but I have read the Gladwell, and I will say it is a worthwhile book to read -- counter-intuitive to the maximum.
What will be hot in 2015?
Anything by Baldacci, Parker or Grisham. At least, that's the safe bet.
The Wall Street Journa,l has reported on a study that shows that if you read in iPad and some similar devices before you try to go to sleep, the process of dozing off will take longer than if you read a regular book.
The problem is a blue light that the devices emit. It disrupts the release of the chemical that helps you go to sleep.
If you're like me, you don't need anything to get in the way of getting in the right number of hours to keep me on my toes through the day.
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