BENTON, KY – According to the 2017-2018 fiscal year statistics recently released by the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives, the Marshall County Public Library is one of the most used libraries in the state. The library ranked in the top fifteen percent of Kentucky’s 120 counties in six categories—Registered Users, People Entering the Library, Book Circulation, AV Circulation, Total Circulation, and YA Program Attendance—and in the top ten overall in Book Collection (third) and Wireless Sessions (sixth).
“For years people predicted the internet would make libraries obsolete, but we’re busier than ever,” says Kristi Tucker, Director of the Marshall County Public Library. “Last year 181,762 people entered our libraries. Those people came to check out material, use public computers, participate in programs, and attend workshops. By expanding our services, we’re reaching more people and becoming a cornerstone of our community.”
Programs for all ages is one of the many ways libraries are remaining relevant. In the previous fiscal year MCPL hosted 778 programs with over 17,850 attendees. While the majority of those programs focused on educational opportunities for children and teens, family-centered programs and programs for adults are becoming increasingly popular.
“Adult craft programs and gardening workshops are among our most popular programs for adults,” says Tucker. “We’re always looking for new ways to engage people of all ages in our community. It’s important to constantly adapt to the needs of those we serve, and all of our programmers do a great job of listening to our patrons and trying out new things.”
In addition to library-sponsored programs, each of the branches also provides space for community groups to meet and hold workshops. Last year over 750 meetings were held in the library, and according to Tucker, that number is expected to increase once the new Benton branch is complete.
“The demand for our meeting spaces is high. In the new building there will be an opportunity for multiple groups to meet at the same time, creating more opportunities for the people of Marshall County.”
While programming and meeting spaces might make it possible for more people to become aware of what the library does, it is still the place where people check out books. In fact, last year the library circulated 380,243 physical items, which averages out to just over twelve checkouts for each resident of Marshall County. Of those 380,248 items, 208,348 items (55%) were print books. Additionally, 138,294 e-books were circulated.
For more information about the services provided by the Marshall County Public Library, visit one of their branches in Benton, Calvert City, or Hardin, or access them online at www.marshallcolibrary.org.