Libraries measure a number of different statistics throughout the year to determine the success of their work, not the least of which is the circulation. Circulation is essentially the count of items (books, cds, dvds, etc) that are checked out of the library. A library with high circulation numbers is a library that is well used by its customers. And isn’t that the point, after all? So while the number of visits to the library are important, and the number of participants in the library programs that are offered throughout the year, circulation is a number that most libraries feel is demonstrative of community impact.
The Cedar Rapids Public Library West at Westdale Mall circulated 664,028 items in FY2010 (July 2009 – June 2010). That made it the second highest circulating library in the state, trailing the Iowa City Public Library. More than 23,000 reference questions were answered and over 45,000 people used a public computer at the library. There were 288,899 library visits in FY2010.
What these statistics say to us is that our Westdale location is meeting a need that went unmet prior to the flood of 2008. The Cedar Rapids Public Library had a small store-front location at Westdale Mall for years, but it lacked the materials and services offered by the renovated space we now occupy on the first floor. The current space includes a technology center with classroom, two meeting rooms for civic use, a collection of more than 100,000 items, and plenty of space to sit and enjoy your materials. The customers who use the library regularly love the access to free and abundant parking, as well as the proximity to the County offices also located in the mall.
It is a testament to the staff who have worked so hard to renovate the Westdale space that the library is reaching so many people. If you haven’t been to the CRPL West before, or if it’s been a few months, stop by and see the changes. You will discover a vibrant, lively space that just may be a surprise.
For additional information, see our Annual Report.