January 19, 2020

Heights Libraries Hit Important Milestone - Patch.com

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH — For the first time in the library system's history, the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Libraries circulated more than 2 million items in one year. This milestone marks 2019 as the busiest year in library history.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, the Heights Libraries circulation was 2,072,833 for the year. The library system confirmed the circulation numbers with CLEVNET, the library consortium which manages Heights Libraries' online catalog and track circulation for member libraries.

"This was a very busy year for us, so the numbers don't really surprise us, but we are thrilled to hit this milestone," said Heights Library Director Nancy Levin. "With so many different ways to access materials, people are borrowing more now than ever."

A total of 1,868,673 physical items, including books, DVDs, and CDs, were checked out from the libraries. The rest of the circulation numbers were composed of digital check-outs, including eBooks, audiobooks, online magazines and streaming media (movies, TV shows, etc.).

"The eMedia circuclation, while lower than the physical holdings, demonstrates that we're offering access to a wide variety of materials to as many people as possible, wherever they may be," said Deputy Director Kim DeNero-Ackroyd. "Customers consume media differently than they used to, and we are keeping up with those trends."

DeNero-Ackroyd sees a gradual shift in the library's circulation model. "I truly believe physical books will never go away, but if it's 10 p.m. and you're, let's say, stuck at the airport and want a book to read, you can download one instantly. Or if your child needs a resource for a school project after library hours, you can go online."

The Heights Libraries also got rid of fines for overdue materials in 2018. Levin believes this policy change could have increased circulation. She also wondered if library's were seeing a rebirth in the so-called "sharing economy."

"It seems that young people are less interested in owning things and more interested in finding a way to share resources, like cars and housing," said Levin. "Libraries have always operated on the principle of sharing, so we cater naturally to the values of Millennials and younger generations who believe in it, too."

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