Digital use surges by 35% in two years

  • Coshocton Public Library Director Jennifer Austin recently gave an annual report to Coshocton County Commissioners.
  • Most numbers were up from 2020, but still down from pre-pandemic levels. The exception was digital materials borrowed up 35% to 68,035.
  • For 2021, the library, bookmobile and West Lafayette branch had 81,339 visitors with 202,621 physical items borrowed.
  • The library system has 94,226 books, 8,152 DVDs, 2,362 audiobooks, 780,257 eBooks and 203,854 downloadable audio files.

COSHOCTON — Use of the Coshocton Public Library was up in 2021 from 2020, but still down from before the COVID-19 pandemic except in the area of ​​digital materials.

Jennifer Austin, library director, recently presented an annual report to Coshocton County Commissioners giving information for the main library, West Lafayette Branch and bookmobile for last year.

The number of digital materials borrowed for 2021 was 68,035, up about 35% from 2019. Austin knows the pandemic affected that, but she doesn’t see digital borrowing plateauing anytime soon as we continue to live in an online and technology-heavy world.

“The pandemic certainly helped to promote our digital services,” Austin said. “People are still using the library, they’ve just found new ways to use library services.”

However, the library is still reaching people via traditional means. A unique offering that many library systems don’t have is a bookmobile, which had 373 visits in 2021. Austin said the bookmobile is an important part of the library’s outreach to school districts and the Amish community.

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