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Library is much more than books
Oct. 26, 2015

Ivan Raconteur

HOWARD LAKE, MN – Patrons checked out 44,296 items at the Howard Lake Library in 2014, with a total value of $809,210.

Howard Lake Librarian Deborah Cox-Johnson, Great River Regional Library (GRRL) Patron Services Coordinator Brandi Canter, and GRRL Executive Director Karen Pundsack presented this information and much more about the library during the Oct. 6 Howard Lake City Council meeting.

A contingent from the Friends of the Howard Lake Library was also present during the meeting.

The Howard Lake Library logged 15,392 visits in 2014. There were 7,715 checkout sessions, during which the average number of items checked out was 5.74.

Twenty-six percent of Wright County’s 129,918 residents are library card holders (33,802).

Library patrons have access to 968,139 items, including books, magazines, DVDs, and music CDs valued at $17,686,204.

Patrons can get most of those items in just one day, Pundsack said.

Only about half of the visits to the Howard Lake Library in 2014 involved checking out materials.

The other half of the visits were for computer use, access to WiFi, reading newspapers or other materials, or attending programs.

Of those people who use library computers, 31 percent use them for employment-related purposes, 28 percent participate in educational activities, and 27 percent use the computers to get information on health and wellness topics.

People over age 50 taking online classes is one group using library computers. Library staff is there to help people use technology.

Many online classes are free to library cardholders. Topics include learning another language, ancestry, and how to use certain computer software.

The library provides programs for all ages, Pundsack noted.

Cox-Johnson spoke about the value of the library to the community.

“We are an under-appreciated jewel,” she said.

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