Top circulating titles, visitor totals and more: a look inside the Brentwood Library’s annual report

The Brentwood Library’s 2016 annual report was just released this week, containing some attention-grabbing numbers about the library’s popularity as well as some highlights for the library from the past year.

The library statistics was presented at the Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night. Commissioner Betsy Crossley, who serves on the Library Board, was obviously proud of what the library had accomplished in 2016.

“I’d just like to brag on some numbers and the hard work that the staff at the library has accomplished,” she said, by way of introduction. “These numbers reflect how well our community supports our library.”

The library ended the fiscal year 2015-2016 with 198,715 items in its collection, Crossley said. Those items were checked out 677,261 times, according to the report. The report likewise states that 279,598 people visited the library during that time. There are 20,750 adult Brentwood Library card holders and 5,654 juvenile card holders.

Other numbers from the report, Crossley said, underscored the library’s importance not only as a repository of books, but as a community center. These numbers pertain to the library’s many programming events.

According to the report, 8,909 adults attended programs at the library during the last fiscal year. The numbers were considerably higher for children, with a reported 19,756 children attending library programs in that time. Teen program attendance totaled 1,378.

There was a sharp rise in the number of volunteer hours worked during the 2015-2016 fiscal year as opposed to the previous one, according to the new report. Whereas the 2015 annual report referenced 8,992 volunteer hours served, the 2016 report stated that 11,022 volunteer hours were served in the last fiscal year. That volunteer time had a value of $116,285, according to the report.

“Amazing, amazing numbers,” Crossley said. “I love being able to brag on the library and that was just last year. I can’t wait to see what we do this year. And we’re already planning for next year.”

One interesting addition to this year’s report is a list of the library’s most circulated items of 2016. These items include:

Adult Fiction – “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins

Adult Non-Fiction – “Killing Reagan: the Violent Assault that Changed a Presidency” by Bill O’Reilly

DVD – “The Divergent Series: Insurgent”

Book on CD – “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah

Biography – “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

Music CD – “1989” by Taylor Swift

Game – “Super Mario Galaxy 2”

The report also references some notable developments that occurred at the library in 2016. For starters, the library’s website was updated. Additionally, patrons can now purchase Brentwood Library merchandise such as mugs and magnets with the new library logo.

The report chronicled additions to the library including the purchase of a 3D printer, which “offers an expanded world of creative possibilities” at the library, additional charging stations for smartphones and other devices and new self-checkout stations to increase convenience for library patrons.

The report highlighted a noteworthy development in the ongoing relationship between the library and local public schools. This relationship led to the wildly popular exam week observance, wherein the Brentwood Library offered free pizza and coffee to middle and high school students, and stayed open two hours later on certain nights. Other aspects of this relationship include a courier service where teachers at certain schools in the area can have books that they request delivered to their classrooms, and the Williamson Loves Libraries event.