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Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Year in Numbers

When most people think of libraries, they naturally think of books and words. But the ORL’s recently released 2010 Executive Summary contains some pretty significant numbers - staggering numbers when you think about it.
For example, there were 444,400 reference questions answered in 2010. That’s more than 1,200 a day, or 42 per branch per day! Given that few of our branches are open 7 days a week, you can see how busy an ORL staff member’s day can be answering questions – everything from what book to recommend to “what’s a reliable Internet source for travel information?” to “What year was Hedley established?”. Our reference librarians love to be challenged!
Computer terminals at our 29 branches were used a total of 157,490 times for an average of 27 minutes each time. That equals 2,953 days or over 8 years worth of constant computer use spread throughout the 114 terminals in our system!
Other astonishing figures during the 2010 year:
-          The ORL circulated a total of 3,354,326 items
-          ORL customers placed a total of 828,967 holds on items
-          89,125 people attended ORL programs
-          123,014 new volumes were added to the catalogue
-          The ORL website had 1.36 million hits
These figures are all increases over 2009 numbers. So when we hear the question “does anyone use the library anymore?”, you can understand why we smile. The proof is in the numbers.

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