Borrowing down, tech usage up at Halifax libraries
Halifax libraries had 2.3 million visitors in 2011
The library has become more about logging on to a computer than sorting bookshelves for the newest bestseller, according to the latest figures released by Halifax Public Libraries.
"I do get books out and I read but it's so much more than that," said Mary Moore while she worked on a puzzle at the library.
She said she visits almost every day.
"You can become a hermit real easy. If I would do it in the house, I wouldn't go out at all."
The Halifax Public Libraries, which consists of 14 branches in Halifax, had about 2.3 million visitors in 2011 — a slight decrease from the year before. The numbers show there was a drop in the number of items being borrowed last year, but a big jump in the number of people using the libraries' computers.
"We have nearly a 50 per cent increase in logging into our public computer so we have over 100,000 log-ins for our public computers, plus we have 1.5 million visits to our library website," said Kathleen Peverill, spokeswoman for Halifax Public Libraries.
Heather MacAuley said the library is more than just books for her family.
"Doing homework on their computers, passing in assignments online. I've done some online courses. I've also taken my children to the puppet shows here," she said.
The numbers show 114, 410e-books were downloaded from the library last year — double the amount borrowed the year before.
"Whenever there's a digital copy, I choose that one rather than the old style copy," said user Cathy Fearon.
She said she also borrows CDs, DVDs and attends programs.