Archived Story

15 minutes in the life of a library

Published 11:25am Friday, November 18, 2011

Last year, more than 150,000 visits were made to the Fergus Falls Public Library. That boils down to an average of almost 3,000 visits each week or almost one new visitor each minute the library was open.

So, what, you may ask, are all of these visitors doing at the library?

Well, let’s take a snapshot. I am writing this column on Tuesday, Nov. 15, so why don’t we take a look at what is going on at the library today.

We have a wide variety of programming offered for youth and families, including: Toddler Storytime, Preschool Storytime, and a special Pajama Storytime offered this evening.

We also have chess club in the afternoon for youth and adults and, at noon, a group of homeschoolers will be meeting for a Hebrew lesson via Skype. Wow! That’s five activities taking place in the library meeting room just today.

In addition to the great programming offered at the library, as I write this column at 11:15 a.m., there is a line of approximately six individuals at the check-out desk.

Those waiting in line include a mother and her two young children, a middle-aged gentleman, and two women who appear to be in their early sixties.

As I listen, I learn that the mother and her children are returning books and are eager to find more to bring home.

One of the women wants to know if we have a particular book she would like to read, the gentleman is checking out three DVDs and wants to know more about our upcoming Gadget Petting Zoo.

The other woman is checking out a stack of paperbacks.

As I leave the check-out desk, I observe three individuals perusing the new books stacks.

Both small study rooms are in use. One room holds a woman who appears to be looking for a quiet place to read a newspaper.

A young man using a laptop occupies the other study space.

Five people are using the library’s computers and four individuals are using their own laptops and sitting at tables and study carrels.

The reading area of the library includes six people reading newspapers and books. I also count six people searching the stacks for their next good read and two people are checking out the DVD collection.

As I make my way back to my office, I notice one woman taking advantage of our new coffee service and count 26 caregivers and children currently attending preschool storytime in the meeting room.

So, let’s see, that’s 61 individuals using the library in a wide variety of ways between 11:15 and 11:30 a.m. on a Tuesday.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve visited the library, stop by, check us out and take a moment to take in all that’s happening here.


Erin Smith, Library Director, Fergus Falls Public Library

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