The set of facts below was printed in one of our branch newsletters, compiled by one of our Regional Supervisors. I didn't ask her permission to reprint, but since she sent it out to our library patrons at large, I'm assuming it's okay. It's all public information anyway, but the nuances are hers.
I wanted to post it here, because with all the talk of budget cuts in Wake County, I have been surprised and hurt to see comments from citizens indicating that we were wasting tons of their money anyway. I don't think people realize exactly what they are talking about, so here you go...
Wake County residents borrowed 10,390,295 books from the public library in 2008-that's 11.88 books per person! No other North Carolina county had residents reading so many books.
Wake County Public Library is a bargain. Not only do you save money by borrowing books, you pay less per use in Wake County than in any other North Carolina county. The statewide average cost is $3.99 per circulation, while Wake County's cost is only $1.62 each.
The statewide average circulation per staff member is 16,500, but Wake County circulates over 47,000 books per staff member. Whew!
While we circulate more books than the largest system in the state, our operating budget is just 53% of that system's budget.
Other interesting facts:
-Wake County has the largest public library book collection in the state--over 1.7 million books.
-Our 19 branches are open 65,000 hours a year.
-47% of Wake County residents actively use their library cards.
-Our libraries were visited 3 million times during the year or about 4 visits per Wake County resident.
-Over 250,000 people attended over 4,000 programs.
-Our 600 public computers were used over 1 million times.