People joined up, visited, checked out, and logged on at Pierce County Library System in record numbers in 2009.
“We had a banner year in all of our libraries and online,” said Neel Parikh, executive director for the Library System. “Since voters passed a re-authorized levy in 2006, each year our customer base and business has grown. 2009 was off the charts definitely in part due to the economic downturn. We are very happy to serve our communities and offer them the services and access they need.”
The statistics and stories speak volumes about the Library’s successful year helping communities.
- Web site visits: 2008—1,549,299; 2009: 2,556,507: 65% increase
- Items checked out: 2008—6,616,850; 2009: 7,865,324: 18% increase
- Library visits: 2008—2,299,338; 2009: 2,646,693: 15% increase
- Number of card holders: 2008—212,831; 2009: 240,629: 13% increase
The Library hit a homerun compared with attendance at other major events in Puget Sound last year.
- Pierce County area museums: 384,059
- Seahawks home games: 539,141
- Puyallup Fair: 1,183,035
- Mariners home games: 2,195,284
- Tacoma Dome Events: 2,392,000 (2008 statistic, 2009 attendance currently unavailable)
- Pierce County Library: 2,646,693
“Residents turned to their Pierce County Library during this tough economy and hard time in their lives. We are proud to help them,” said Parikh. “2009 showed a dramatic shift in how people are using their Library and we are stepping up to that demand. People cancelled their movie rental accounts, so we offered more DVDs. They stopped buying books, so we bought more best sellers.”
People turned to the Library for help finding jobs and to improve their job skills. The Library increased its resources to help people find jobs and get improved computer skills for jobs. Residents could work directly with professional online tutors in real time and expert coaches for every stage of the job search, including career coaching and critiques on resumes and cover letters, as well as online interview practice and feedback.
This year the Library is beefing up its offering of computer classes and bringing in professional instructors to help people in their job searches and with their computer skills for jobs. The Library will also open six job and small business centers in its libraries to give people free help finding and getting jobs and starting small businesses.