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Library celebrates new equipment, return to programming

by | Dec 30, 2022 | Latest

The Smith Public Library welcomed new borrowers, more circulation of its books and a summer full of avid young readers back in a year where in-person usage increased.

Library Director Ofilia Barrera said 2022 had several successful events, new equipment installed and a 30% increase in the number of visitors at the library. There were also 1,500 new borrowers, a 40% increase compared to 2021, and a 5% increase in material circulation.

While in-person visits increased, the library has maintained its steady online presence with growth in its streaming services usage and $14,000 worth of materials checked out via the Hoopla platform, said Barrera. Most of the Hoopla checkouts are audiobooks, she added, of which 3,550 items were checked out.

“We have also seen an increase in usage for our digital resources,” Barrera said. “We have added over 2,100 unique users over the past year on Libby. Check-outs on that platform have held steady since 2020 [with] just over 660,000 check-outs a year.”

Additionally, the library added some new equipment that is projected to enhance its capabilities as it continues to serve residents. In December, a new automated book sorter was installed.

“It was just installed last week [Dec.12-16] and it is amazing,” Barrera said. “Our last sorter was about 10 years old, so the technology has improved and everything works so much quieter and smoother.”

The library also added a new 3D printer that has the capability to print in two colors.

Additionally, the summer reading program returned to a fully in-person experience after being hindered by pandemic restrictions the past two years.

“This is the first year we were back to all in person for youth and it was wonderful having everyone back,” Barrera said. “We had a huge turnout at the Kick-Off Party that included In-N-Out Burger for the very first time.”

For the full story, see the Dec. 28 issue of The Wylie News.

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