Sponsored by Oregon Business

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

Downtown flower shop readies for the Valentine's Day rush

The Latest
Monday, February 09, 2015
021015-giffords-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Gifford's Flowers brings family approach to PSU-area shop.


Read more...

Nuclear fingerprints

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

At Oregon State University, a 21st century version of the bad dream — nuclear terrorism — is alive and well. This winter, the Department of Nuclear Physics and Radiation Health Physics created a new interdisciplinary graduate emphasis in nuclear forensics, a Sherlock Holmes-sounding program that aims to identify how and where confiscated nuclear and radiological materials were created.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Get on the bus!

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER

How the private sector can ride the next transit revolution.


Read more...

The week journalism died

Linda Baker
Sunday, February 15, 2015
deadjournalismthumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.


Read more...

Downtime with the executive director of Greater Portland Inc.

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015

Janet LaBar, Executive director, Greater Portland Inc.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Can Oregon remain small but mighty in a global food economy? That was one of the questions raised during this morning’s panel discussion on agriculture exports.


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