Our network commenced providing e-Books and e-Audio content to the public at the start of 2013, so it is interesting to see how things have progressed over a period of just over four & a half years.
Not surprisingly, thing started slowly with the first month of service attracting 219 borrowers who borrowed 225 items. However things progressed rather quickly and by the end of the year there were over 12,000 users who had borrowed over 12,000 items. Things have now progressed to a point where there are over 58,000 registered borrowers, and in July these customers borrowed almost 52,000 items.
As you can see from the graph below there is a steady upwards trend in loans, with the monthly loan figures increasing by about 10,000 loans every year. The total loans for the last 12 months were 541,269.
So we now have a library branch that has 32,600 titles and just over 40,000 items (some popular titles have multiple copies). This branch has a membership of 58,000, loans of 540,000 and a collection turnover rate of approximately 13 times p.a. And membership continues to grow, with June being the first month that saw more than 2,000 new users in a month. See the graph of new users below. I am sure that if this was a local physical library branch this would be considered an extremely busy circulating library.
The collection development policy for this collection pays considerable attention to reader recommendations. The service receives over 250 recommendations a week. We don't have the funds to buy every item that is recommended, so we apply a metric where if a title is recommended by more than 3 people a copy is purchased for the collection. And we monitor the number of reservations on items, and purchase additional copies if that queue gets too long.
This part of the libraries' service to the community is an important part of what we offer, along with our digital magazines and our online training videos. I will report on these other two services in the near future. And we will continue to look to add online services that meet the needs of our customers.