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New Wichita Library Sets Record In First Month

Evan Pflugradt
KMUW/File photo

The first report on how the new Advanced Learning Library in Wichita is serving the community is out.

It shows the number of people using the new library is growing, and visitors borrowed 67,898 materials in July to set a record.

Credit Evan Pflugradt / KMUW

The report, presented to city officials this week, shows about twice the number of people visited the new building in July compared to the Central Library last year at the same time.

About 1,800 new accounts were created in the first month of service, roughly triple the amount from last year.

Adult fiction and non-fiction materials reached their highest monthly use levels in more than six years. E-book circulation grew by 35 percent.

The Advanced Learning Library added more public computers and improved its Wi-Fi capabilities, and so far, it appears that is paying off.

The report shows more people are using the library workstations compared to last year, and those bringing their own devices for Wi-Fi sessions is up substantially.

Credit Wichita Public Library

The “book a librarian” service is also taking off. The free one-on-one technology sessions allow users to get help with computers, iPad or other tablets, a variety of software, searching and applying for jobs, downloading e-books, and social media. The number of people seeking help from a librarian went from 47 last July to 480 last month.

While more people are taking advantage of technology training programs at the library, children’s events remain the biggest draw for attendance.

The Advanced Learning Library opened in mid-June.

Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.