In a September 12 letter of support to the Landmark, resident Barbara Drai commented on not being familiar with the Brookfield Public Library’s statistics (“Library use as strong as ever,” Letters, Sept. 12).

I would like to share with Barbara as well as with all residents the library’s statistical story over the past six years. Reviewing the library’s metrics will drive home Ms. Drai’s statement that the library’s “current space is bursting at the seams.” The library board certainly echoes this sentiment and continues to work toward the goal of a new library.

Check out of print materials and e-content in 2011 was just under 300,000 items. Circulation has increased by nearly 93 percent since 2005, even though the population of Brookfield has remained relatively static.

Over 148,000 people visited the library in 2011, an increase of 17.7 percent over 2010 and a 55-percent increase from 2005, when the library had 95,852 visitors. In 2011, 15.3 items were checked out per Brookfield resident. A total of 2,789 Brookfield residents were turned away from library programs in 2011, because the library’s largest meeting room holds 31 people.

From 2005 to 2011, the number of programs offered by the Library increased by 541 percent for adults and 169 percent for children and teens, while program attendance increased by 233 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

Computer and laptop use increased 221 percent over the same time period, from 11,849 sessions in 2005 to 38,008 sessions in 2011.

It is clear that Library usage is up dramatically and that the technologies available via the library draw more and more residents. The library’s programming offerings, from literacy-building storytimes for toddlers to hands-on computer workshops for adults, are much sought after.

Libraries connect communities, and it is evident from these usage numbers that the Brookfield Public Library provides an excellent value for residents.

Dianne Duner, president
Brookfield Public Library Board of Trustees