Home Back Issues May 2010 Libraries are flooded with visitors

Libraries are flooded with visitors

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010

Nonprofits find themselves competing more and more with businesses for customers, and libraries are no exception. However, Oregon’s 130 public libraries are thriving and many are expanding an already loyal customer base.

“We don’t worry about people coming into libraries,” says Jim Scheppke, State Librarian. “A downturn in the economy always turns library use up.”

The Oregon State Library found that checkouts of books and other materials from public libraries increased by 7% in 2009, reaching a new record of 55.8 million checkouts. The Multnomah County Library has the third-highest circulation rates in the country, behind Queens and New York City. Attendance in Crook County public libraries increased about 15% to 20% in the past two years according to Dave Patterson, library director. While some of that is due to the economy, Patterson credits a large portion of the increase to a new way of thinking about library customers.

“We’ve taken a lot of cues from retail,” Patterson says. “We try to have something for everyone.”

These include prominent new material displays to catch customers’ attention. Rural and metropolitan libraries also provide customers with extensive online resources, such as career centers and student resources, and free high-speed Internet, a major benefit for job seekers.

Vailey Oehlke, director of the Multnomah County Library, says libraries utilize technology to remain relevant and resourceful for their communities. Libraries around the state use everything from word-of-mouth to Twitter to inform users of new programs and materials.

Nearly 30 public libraries statewide are a part of the Oregon Digital Library Consortium, a group that pools their resources to purchase digital audio books, eBooks and digital videos. All of the materials are available for patrons of any participating library on the Library 2 Go website. While digital materials are a small percentage of any library’s resources, librarians across the state agree it’s a growing trend.

“We’re really excited that libraries are keeping up with all of the new technology,” says Scheppke.

COLLEEN MORAN
 

More Articles

The more they change, the more they stay the same

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
100-best-collageBY BRANDON SAWYER

The 100 Best Companies get more creative with perks and more generous with benefits; employees seek empowering relations with management and coworkers.


Read more...

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


Read more...

The 2014 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon

News
Friday, February 28, 2014

100best14logo ThumbnailThe 21st annual 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon list was announced Thursday night at an awards dinner at the Oregon Convention Center.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


Read more...

Barrister bands

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4691BY LINDA BAKER

An intellectual property attorney by day, 48-year-old Stoll Berne attorney Tim DeJong is a singer and guitarist by night.


Read more...

What I'm reading: Brad Smith & Travis Boersma

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Brad Smith, founder of Hot Pepper Studios, and Travis Boersma, president of Dutch Bros. Coffee, share their recent reads.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS