New system profiles library users

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 15:36 19/02/2014

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The average Marlborough library user is a woman who visits the library to borrow books on Tuesday, particularly during January and July, statistics show.

Marlborough Libraries chief librarian Glenn Webster said a new system in the libraries enabled staff to analyse library circulation data to reveal some interesting facts and trends.

It showed that women made up two-thirds of the library's membership, and Tuesdays were the libraries' busiest day.

The new system meant people no longer had to fill in paper membership forms, Mr Webster said. Instead, the new member's details were entered directly into the library management system.

"This redesign has removed a number of steps improving the speed and accuracy of the membership process and ensuring that the new member is given an appropriate induction to the library."

Meanwhile, providing free wi-fi at the Blenheim and Picton libraries had caused strong demand for space in both buildings, Mr Webster said.

Picton library was particularly popular when cruise ships were in town.

Mr Webster said the middle week in January saw several cruise ships visit Picton, and they had a big impact on the Picton library and service centre as passengers investigated the town centre, visited the library and used the library computers and wi-fi.

"The unexpected visit to Picton by the cruise ship The Sea Princess on January 17 with more than 2000 passengers saw demand for seating and wi-fi at the Picton library and service centre stretched to capacity and spilling out onto High St."

While free wi-fi was also available within the Picton and Blenheim central business districts, savvy users were hopping from provider to provider to get free access for longer than the time limits on each service.

Blenheim library issued 31,932 books in December 2013, 76 more books than in December the previous year, while Picton issued 4863 books in the same time period, 226 fewer than the previous year.

The total checkouts for the libraries for the year to date were 7 per cent fewer than the same period last year, Mr Webster said, but he noted the libraries were closed for several days following the earthquakes.


LIBRARY STATISTICS

The new library Vanguard system shows:

Tuesday's have been identified as the busiest day;

The gender split of members is 63 per cent female and 37 per cent male;

Staff were most in demand to help with technology issues, such as the internet, wi-fi, printing or scanning, followed by inquiries about books;

Circulation peaks in January and July – during school holidays;

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New members peak during vintage, when workers come to live temporarily in Marlborough. 

- The Marlborough Express

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