Library use hits a peak

By Julie Langpeter, The Packet & Times

With the opening of the new Orillia Public Library downtown just months away, library users are feeling the squeeze at the temporary site on Gill Street.

Tuesday, was the busiest day in recent memory at the library, with more than 1,500 items — which includes books, CDs and DVDs — being taken out and 2,600 returned. On an average day, 800 to 1,000 items are taken out.

"The day after a long weekend is always busy, but Tuesday was incredible. We had people lined up at our door before we opened, and it was non-stop all day long," said Joyce Dempsey, who works in circulation services.

There were lineups for the public Internet computers and 71 children turned up for "Animal Party," a free children's program for kids in Grades 1-4.

While some of the increase in circulation can be chalked up to the summer reading programs for children and young adults, circulation in the fiction department is also going up, said interim library CEO Suzanne Campbell.

A recent six-month report showed a 10.2% increase in overall circulation this year over last for the January to June timeframe.
"There were 11,000 more items (checked out) this year than last over the same period," Campbell said Thursday.

"Maybe people are anticipating how wonderful it's going to be (at the new facility)."

If things go according to plan, the library will close at the 500 Gill St. site for three weeks beginning in October, and will reopen in the the new building — at the corner of Mississaga and Andrew streets — in mid-November.