BENTON– Over 202,000 people entered the Marshall County Public Library between July 2013 and June 2014 according to statistics recently posted by the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. During that same period of time, over 512,000 materials were circulated, 545 programs were held, and 631 meetings were conducted by outside groups using the meeting room.
“The library is a busy place,” says Kristi Tucker, Director of the Marshall County Public Library. “We have three branches, and there is always something going on at each of them. From children’s programs to family events and just normal, day-to-day activity, our buildings are seeing a lot of activity.”
According to the KDLA statistics, the Marshall County Public Library was ranked fourth in largest book collection, second in highest book circulation, and sixth in registered borrowers per capita in the state for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Housed inside the three branches are 184,527 print books, 6,160 audiobooks, and 19,737 DVDs. In twelve months, over 303,750 books were checked out to some of the library’s 31,337 registered borrowers.
Tucker says despite those staggering numbers, the library’s collection doesn’t stop there.
“As the world and our community continue to grow and expand digitally, so does the library’s collection. We now carry over 74,800 eBooks, 23,450 downloadable audio book titles, and 10,200 downloadable videos. In the 2013-2014 fiscal year 7,727 free songs were legally downloaded through the library’s Freegal music service and 34,924 sessions were held using our free wi-fi.”
To access the library’s vast collection of material, both physical and digital, all a patron needs is a library card, which they can acquire for free with proof of local residency.
“September is National Library Card Month, and we’re asking our patrons to come in and help us celebrate all the things their library card allows them to do,” says Tucker. “At each branch we’ll be collecting responses to the question, ‘What do you love about your library card?’ Participants will be entered to win a $50 Visa gift card and we’ll be sharing the responses on our Facebook page throughout the month.”