Karin wengerter’s annual report for 2019 is positive: "we have more readers, more loans and more visitors", the head of the city library summarizes the figures: after 50120 in 2018, the automatic payment registered 51 955 visitors last year. That’s 3.5 percent more. "On average, 253 people come to us every day", the graduate librarian calculates.
"It must be easy to become a reader", is one of the goals of karin wengerter and her team. However, the visitors not only read and borrow newspapers, magazines and books. The city library offers guided tours for school classes and kindergarten children, a play corner for children, exhibitions, lectures and computers for surfing the internet.
Nonetheless, books remain in the foreground: "the classic book is still in demand", emphasizes wengerter. The number of readers who borrow a medium at least once a year rose by 16.2 percent in 2019 to 1949. 71.5 percent of regular users of a reader’s card are female. "Our main target group is children", the head of the city library points out that although only 22 percent of the users are up to ten years old, 63 percent of the books are borrowed in their name. Through numerous activities such as the "unzelfunzel" reading program or the library driver’s license, the library demands that children read more.
Almost two-thirds of readers come from the city of hammelburg, the rest from the surrounding communities. Wengerter is therefore also pleased that the communities of oberthulba, wartmannsroth and fuchsstadt value the library through their membership in the circle of friends of the library.
Increase to 87,275 loans
Loans increased by 8.5 percent to 87,275 last year. Among adults, crime novels in particular have been in vogue for many years. "With the women it can’t be bloody enough", the librarian tells. Especially the regional crime novels, which are set in well-known places, are popular. But there has also been a fantasy boom thanks to several series on the internet.
For fewer people, it was a surprise that nonfiction books increased in 2019 for the first time in nine years. In fact, more and more people are finding out about factual topics on the internet, but last year the number of loans increased by eleven percent. Around 28 percent of all books borrowed are non-fiction or novels. However, children’s books take up the most space on the shelves: they account for 44 percent of all book titles – and are also the most frequently borrowed by far.
Virtually no new cds
Streaming services have apparently completely outstripped the CD: "cds are out, which is why we bought just eight titles last year, wengerter reports. "Horbucher still go well, but stagnate", reports the head of the town library further. Tonies, on the other hand, are very much in vogue: these are small figures with which children between the ages of three and six can activate a device for reading stories aloud.
A new trend is also "maker space": construction kits and games convey scientific and technological knowledge. For example, the library has purchased small robots that are programmed during class visits.
Films are also still in demand. "Dvds are still doing very well, which is why we are constantly buying new ones," is one of karin wenger’s goals, wengerter reports. For new films, users have to pay 1.50 euros per week, while the older ones are free and can be borrowed for two weeks at a time.
For the lending of e-books, the city library has joined forces with seven other libraries to form the "emu-emedien unterfranken" association joined together. Eleven percent of requests and 27 percent of pre-orders are now made digitally. "The typical e-book reader is over 40", wengerter summarizes her experience. But: in hammelburg, only 3.6 percent of users borrow e-books exclusively.
The month with the highest number of loans last year was august: 7612 loans were registered during the summer holidays. The day with the most loans in 2019 was the 3rd day of the year. January with 894 media. It will be interesting to see how the numbers develop in the next five weeks, when schools are closed because of the corona virus.