New Brunswick

Slower economy results in more people using Fredericton Public Library

A recent report shows the Fredericton Public Library is seeing a boom in users for 2016.

With a slower economy, the Fredericton Public Library is a happening spot these days

The Fredericton Public Library saw more than 600 people per day in 2016. (iStock)

A slower economy has resulted in a jump in visitors at the Fredericton Public Library.

Julia Stewart, director of the Fredericton Public Library, gave an annual report to Fredericton City Council on Monday night, detailing the success the library saw in 2016. 

The Fredericton Public Library saw 24,894 more borrows and returns than the previous year, and gave out 7,000 new library cards.

Books are really our bread and butter, but it's more than that.-Julia Stewart

"When the economy isn't so well, or things are maybe taxing, public library use tends to go up," said Stewart.

"Although I have a feeling in Fredericton it's just because we are the best place on earth."

Outside the box

More than 600 people visited the library on a daily basis last year, but it wasn't just to read books.

People are able to borrow items such as board games, ukuleles movies and active wear, like snow shoes. 

Julia Stewart, director of the Fredericton Public Library, gave a presentation to city council on Monday, highlighting the library's increase in use. (Philip Drost/CBC)

"I think it's important that a library is about more than just books," said Stewart. "Books are really our bread and butter, but it's more than that."

The Fredericton Public Library also offers free programs, and more than 10,000 people participated in 2016 than the previous year.

"It's about meeting like-minded people, or being involved in the community," she said. "Experiencing something you might not normally see."

About the Author

Philip Drost is a reporter with CBC New Brunswick.