The Feb. 17 article “Library usage eclipses old facility” gave incorrect numbers for the total number of items checkedout out at the Kodiak Public Library. The correct numbers are 5,100 items checked out in January 2013 at the A. Holmes Johnson Memorial Library and 8,600 items in January 2014 at the new Kodiak Public library. Both numbers used in the article were too high by a power of 10.
It turns out people are more likely to use a library if it’s newer, brighter and better ventilated, even if they have to change their routines to do so.
The numbers are in from the first complete month of the new Kodiak Public Library. A comparison between Jan. 2013 and Jan. 2014 shows a tenfold increase in people requesting library cards and an increase of more than 50 percent in the volume of materials being checked-out, according to library Executive Director Katie Baxter.
More than 500 new library cards were issued in Jan. 2014, compared to a total of 57 in Jan. 2013. The library has records of some 10,500 library cards. The total number of items checked-out Jan. 2013 was about 5,100 compared to about 8,600 in Jan. 2014, Baxter said.
It came to no one’s surprise that the number of people requesting new library cards would increase with all the publicity about the new building, she said. However, it was unexpected that the circulation would also increase right away. Elsewhere in the country, people sometimes don’t always use brand new libraries in the first few weeks because they want to avoid the crowds or because the new location isn’t part of their routine.
“Sometimes that first month of circulation is not comparable to the month the previous year,” she said. “People have to find out where the library is and work it into the family’s schedule. And some of the people who used to walk to the library from downtown had to figure out how to get up here.”
Baxter came from Scituate, Mass. to Kodiak in October to become the new library director. She’s worked in newly refurbished and redesigned libraries in the past but never a brand new building.
The new $12.4 million Kodiak Public Library opened Dec. 9. It’s a replacement for the old A. Holmes Johnson Memorial Library on Mill Bay Road, which was built shortly after the 1964 earthquake.
The library cards are also new. The new design featuring a salmon painting by Tacoma, Wash. resident Sharon Carr replaced the yellow, A. Holmes Johnson Memorial Library cards, which featured a silhouette of a bear.
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