Since opening in April, the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library has become the second most-frequented of all 21 of the system's branches.

Since opening in April, the Whitehall branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library has become the second most-frequented of all 21 of the system's branches.

From April 1 through Oct. 31, 226,210 people visited the Whitehall branch, 4445 E. Broad St. That's second only to the 239,598 who patronized the Whetstone branch in Clintonville.

Branches in Hilliard (222,987), Dublin (222,406) and on Karl Road (209,637) in north Columbus rounded out the top five.

"We think these numbers (at Whitehall) are reflective of the desire of the Whitehall community and the overall demand for access to libraries and services," said Ben Zenitsky, marketing and communications specialist for the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

"Libraries are no longer just a collection of books ... they are community gathering places."

The figures the library provided are for patrons and are not a measure of circulated items, Zenitsky said.

The number of patrons at the new Whitehall branch exceeds those who frequented the former site at 4371 E. Broad St.

Last year, 175,672 visited the branch's former location. The number of patrons was 179,569 in 2013 and 174,075 in 2012.