We are coming up on an important anniversary.
Oct. 16 marks one full year since the new Grove City Library at 3959 Broadway in the Grove City Town Center opened to the public. It has been an exciting, busy and fulfilling year, one with new discoveries, some learning curves and a wonderful response from the community.
Thank you to all our patrons and the community for your continued support. We could not have built this library without you, and judging from the numbers staff has collected, you have been making great use of the new facility. Since we opened, patrons have increased their use of library services and programs.
Attendance at Grove City Library has increased greatly. Between the time we opened the new building and the end of this August, Grove City Library recorded 270,601 visits. From Oct. 16, 2015, through August 2016, that number was 220,999.
Our first Summer Reading Club in the new building also enjoyed a strong showing. The club, with the theme of "Build a Better World" this year, registered 412 babies, 1,141 children, 400 teens and 239 adults at Grove City for the program. Sixty teens contributed 860 volunteer hours, and the library drew 4,371 children and teens and 119 adults to a combined 85 programs.
Between Oct. 16, 2016, and Sept. 20, the Grove City Library circulated 893,096 items. That includes all the books, movies, CDs and other items borrowed by patrons. For comparison, between Oct. 26, 2015, and Sept. 20, 2016, the Grove City Library loaned 685,952 items.
In that same period, more people signed up for library cards. Since the new Grove City Library opened, its circulation department has issued 7,968 new library cards. Compared to the previous year, the library enrolled 2,956 new borrowers.
Patrons are not just picking up books and movies and leaving. They are making great use of the available facilities.
While staff presented 359 programs with an attendance of 12,195, the number of non-library programs in the meeting rooms grew from 310 to 355, and attendance of those programs skyrocketed from 2,647 to 7,740. Those users include local businesses, school groups, community organizations and nonprofits.
Meeting rooms can be booked up to three months in advance for up to four hours at a time. Visit the library's website, swpl.org, and click on the "Meeting Rooms" button near the top of the page for more information or to schedule a meeting.
Mark Dubovec is communications manager for Southwest Public Libraries. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.