The Knoxville Public Library's fiscal year ended June 30, and recently the library has released numbers from that year.
Library director Roslin Thompson said she is most proud of the library's summer reading program. Its participation was strong throughout all age groups (over 3,000). Of those, approximately 60 percent stuck with the program through the summer.
Overall, between July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, total circulation was 78,606. This includes downloadable music and books from services Bridges and Freegal. Computer usage was at 8,598.
"People are still making use of our wired computers," Thompson said. However, there are many others who utilize the library's Wifi on their own devices. In the children's area, there are computers available for early learners, which have also seen significant use. In-house usage was 9,144 items. Last month, another 160 used them.
The total number of visits to the library was 57,473. The library offered 179 programs for all ages with total attendance of 3,310. Approximately 67 percent of the library's patrons live in Knoxville; 22 percent in rural Marion County and 11 percent in surrounding areas.
The library also offers services to bring materials to those who can't physically visit the facility. The Homebound program includes deliveries every two months to area senior facilities. Shut-ins living on their own - within a five-mile radius of the library - are also able to call (641-828-0585) and inquire about having material delivered to their homes.
"I like to think of us as a resource for the whole community," Thompson said. If you need help with nearly any particular topic, the library can help.
Programs are expanding as well. A new international film club is being formed. The group recently watched a film adaptation of "MacBeth" in Japanese, for example. Tonight (Thursday, Sept. 29) at 6 p.m., Doug Wilson will provide a program on the history of coal mining.
As the library prepares to launch a capital campaign, to raise money for its long-planned expansion, one thing that will significantly improve with the new facility will be a community room and areas available for local teenagers.
For more on the library, click here.