The Upper Arlington Public Library recently set a circulation record.

The Upper Arlington Public Library recently set a circulation record.

For the first six months of the year, the library circulated 1-million items at the main, Lane Road and Miller Park branches combined.

"We've never broken that number in six months before," said library director Ann Moore. "I think it has a lot to do with some ways that we have changed our services.

"We allow people to renew things three times now if there's no one else waiting for it," she said. "We've put more money into the budget for materials, so we have a wider variety of stuff and a greater breadth of stuff for people to check out.

"I think we've done a lot of little things to make the library more useful for people."

The library's board of trustees decided to increase the materials budget after voters approved a 2-mill, five-year replacement levy in May 2007.

"We are now putting $1-million into our materials budget every year," Moore said. "Maybe five years ago it was $700,000."

The increased materials budget has enabled the library to start a new program called "DVD2Go," which began July 1.

"Last year we allowed people to put reserves on DVDs, which we hadn't been doing before," Moore said. "That's been really successful because people like to put their name on the list and know they're going to get (the requested title) at some point."

The DVD2Go program is designed to accomplish two goals in the library's strategic plan -- increasing circulation and adding more copies of popular materials.

"The 2Go collection DVDs are more for people who want to stop in the library and see what's available right at that moment," Moore said. "These are movies that no one can reserve. You can check them out for two days."

The 2Go DVDs are limited to two titles per library card and incur a $2 per day overdue fine (as compared to the $1 fine for other DVDs).

The 2Go program has had a tremendous patron response so far, Moore said.

"We've had comments from people that they like it," she said. "At some point, we may do that with some of the more popular books."

Participation in summer reading programs at all age levels has increased this year, Moore said. Participation has also increased in video game sessions for youth that the library hosts at the main branch.

"It's part of this whole trend of gaming and the library, which is kind of an unlikely combination," Moore said. "People seem to still think of libraries as these quiet, hallowed halls, but gaming and the library are not as incompatible you think they'd be."

The main branch will host an information session on Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. titled "Video Games and Graphic Novels: An IntroductionÉ Just for Parents!" The program is designed to bridge the generation gap, Moore said.

"With the gaming, they don't get it," she said. "With graphic novels, it sounds kind of scary, like something that shouldn't be in the hands of children."

Librarians Ellen Seeburger and Angie Grandstaff and UAPlay video game leader Jeff Stemen will give parents tips on how to help their children select age-appropriate titles.

"We've had an increase in game programs over the summer, which is a national trend," Moore said. "This program will come just at the right time."

For more information, call the main branch at (614) 486-9621.

cbournea@thisweeknews.com