Librarians do love their statistics, and one thing we watch is what areas of the collection are seeing more use, and which are seeing less. Our fiscal year ended June 30, so the numbers are coming in. Some things are up, some things are down. Are you checking out the trending things, or are you hanging in there with collections whose use is going down?
Downloadable books and audio books are definitely hot, with audio growing at a faster rate then ebooks. I speculate that this is happening as people are replacing older cars that just had CD players with newer cars that allow you to easily connect your device to the car audio system. Over 40% of all adult spoken word books checked out are now electronic. Adult audio downloads are up 38%, ebooks up 16%. Also in the electronic collection category, our Zinio magazine service saw a 9% increase in use. Overall downloads still account for less than 10% of our “checkouts.”
Print fiction use is down about 5%, with mysteries down the most (Hey, I’m doing my part, what’s happening here!?). These collections are probably most affected by the ebook downloads and if you added them together, overall use would be up. In nonfiction the hot area is biography (up 17%), but declines are seen in the social sciences (300s) and the applied technology (600s).
I was surprised to see that DVD use is up — movies, TV, nonfiction. I expected a drop because streaming services are getting easier to use and cheaper. Use of music on CD, however, continues a declining trend.
If you combine Children’s print and electronic book use, circulation is up with the largest increases seen in books for beginning readers. Using media and electronics in the library is very popular, but less media was checked out from the Children’s Room last year, including DVD and CD formats.
With almost 1.4 million items borrowed last year reading. listening, watching, and playing are all hot!