The first thing 4-year-old Camden Laslow said to his mother upon entering the Columbus Metropolitan Library's Dublin branch was "wow."
Camden and his mother, Erin Laslow, visited the library, 75 N. High St., for the first time Aug. 23 to find books.
Erin Laslow said she appreciated the adjacent parking garage and the ability to easily find what she was looking for.
"It's very bright," she said.
Camden is not alone in his observation about the new facility, which opened June 6. The $21 million library has 41,000 square feet, twice as large as the previous library.
The first three days the branch was open, it attracted more than 10,000 patrons, said Joe Yersavich.
Although some of the novelty has worn off, the library is seeing many repeat visitors and it maintains an average of more than 2,000 people per day, Yersavich said.
Camden's reaction seems to have been a popular one.
"The word I hear most is wow," Yersavich said.
From June 6 through Aug. 6, there were 109,000 visits to the Dublin branch library, said CML spokesman Ben Zenitsky. At the former branch between June 6 and Aug. 6, 2017, there were 78,000 visits, he said. Last year during the same time period, the Dublin branch was temporarily housed in a markedly smaller space at 6765 Dublin Center Drive.
The new branch also has had a higher first-time circulation for books than the old branch.
First-time circulation, or FTC, refers to when an item is first checked out, rather than renewals of any items, Zenitsky said.
From June 6 through Aug. 6, there were 169,000 physical items checked out as "first time", compared to 150,000 such checkouts at the old branch between June 6 and Aug. 6, 2017, Zenitsky said.
Children's books appear to be the most popular item patrons choose.
They had 106,000 checkouts between June 6 through Aug. 6 at the new branch, and 85,000 at the old branch between June 6 and Aug. 6, 2017.
Adult books had an FTC of 46,000 between June 6 and Aug. 6 at the new branch, and 40,000 FTC at the old branch between June 6 and Aug. 6, 2017.
Public-computer reservations at the new branch from June 6 through Aug. 6 number 5,400; at the old branch from June 6 through Aug. 6, 2017, they numbered 5,500, Zenitsky said.
Dublin resident Mary Jo Mastin said she has been visiting the Dublin branch at least once a week, often bringing her grandsons, ages 11 and 12. She said she appreciates the library's teen and children's areas, as well as the windows and comfortable seating.
"People here have been very helpful," she said.
Dublin resident and author Robin Gianakopoulos said she has begun coming to the library regularly to work.
The children's area is improved over the old branch, she said, and the new facility offers a variety of seating.
Gianakopoulos said she appreciates the brightly lit space and the privacy of the work areas, despite the openness.
"I like feeling like there's some space between me and the person next to me," she said.