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The numbers are in. Here's how Mesa County Public Libraries performed during the dumpster fire known as the year 2020.

Mesa County Libraries recently published the 2020 Annual Report. I believe you'll find the numbers impressive. Keep in mind the MCPL closed their buildings twice during 2020. Even though the buildings could not be accessed, library patrons still made use of services. In some cases, library stats are up.

Obviously, the pandemic had a serious impact on the libraries. First, the bad news, or at the very least, the negative numbers. According to the annual report:

  • Library visits fell 56%
  • MCPL cardholders were down 7.4%
  • Checkouts and renewals were down 20%

To my mind those numbers are very predictable considering the facilities themselves could not be accessed to the public. How about the good news?

  • Ebook checkouts increased 39%
  • Adult Student Hours increased 11%
  • Social media followers increased 330%
  • 1,100 titles were added (per suggestions from patrons)
  • 17% of people checked out more titles

What about those numbers that held the line? According to the 2020 report:

  • Utilizing remote learning, 85% of Adult Learning Center students continued their studies despite building closures
  • Ten students completed GED and Career Online High School programs through the library

Looking at the numbers, it appears to me 2020 was a huge hit. Even with the buildings closed, the public continued to make excellent use of the services offered by the MCPL. Way to go.

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