The numbers are in, and 2009 was another record-setting year for KDL as Kent County residents continued to take advantage of all the great library resources available to them. In 2009, the number of materials borrowed rose again by double digits — 10% — topping the 6 million item mark for the first time in KDL history. The number of cardholders increased by 11% and branch visitor counts rose by 9%. Attendance to KDL programs also increased by 9%. We even saw increases in the use of online resources, with website visits up 10%, and use of eBooks up a remarkable 51% over the previous year.
While we are certainly proud and humbled by these accomplishments, we also recognize that this growing demand continues to put a strain on library resources. With a recent 40% reduction in State Aid to libraries as well as stagnant property tax revenues, we face a formidable challenge. Additionally, although we’re very excited about our new library building projects, they too will require additional resources. In response, we are working hard to streamline processes, such as the addition of self-checkout terminals in our branches. We have also reduced staffing levels and consolidated departments. Forthcoming changes, such as the updated materials return guidelines, are also being implemented in response to these challenges. Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate the way we do business and focus on those areas that our customers have identified as most important to them. We have a number of challenges ahead of us (see our Funding Myths page for more funding information), and we need all of your support as we move forward, but we certainly plan to celebrate our successes every step of the way. We thank you for your support and look forward to a great 2010!
Posted by: Eric