How Does the Library Stack Up?

We are currently considering what matters most when it comes to counting how the public library is used. This is an important task. If we do it right, we will know better what is important for the library to be doing in order to best meet our community’s needs.
Abby Koehler, one of our librarians, is helping lead this analysis. She is looking at what others say is important about today’s public libraries. In doing so, she is finding some commonalities. She is examining some of the standard reporting tools that librarians use, such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services Public Library Survey, the Library Journal’s Star Ratings, the Library Research Service’s Annual Report, the Colorado State Library’s Public Library Standards, the Public Library Association’s Public Library Data Service, and Hennen’s American Public Library Rating. Some interesting areas of overlap are emerging among these various and sundry reports. Some areas that all the reports agree are important include how much money a library spends on new materials to keep the collection current, how many times individual books and other library materials check out from the collection, the number of times people visit the library, and the number of staff employed by the library. In addition to this, Abby’s analysis makes a good case that there are a few more things that libraries should be watching carefully, such as how many times people use library public computers and how many people attend library-sponsored programs and events. Finally, Abby sees some areas emerging that libraries should consider counting in the future: how much digital and online materials are being used and how much library public meeting rooms are used.
I want to thank Abby for her good work. I believe if we follow up on this by focusing library resources into areas that help increase these numbers, then your library will be doing a good job. This will help insure the library survives and prospers well into the future. But, most importantly, it will mean the library is making a positive difference in the community it serves.



The Pueblo City-County Library District is now providing r-readers. This new service started last month, and we are excited about it. I have written recently in previous newsletters (May 2011 and April 2011) about how the “wireless digital age” is changing the library. The library’s new e-reader checkout program is only one indication of how things are evolving.

To kick off the program, a number of e-readers can now be checked out by the public from the Rawlings Library. This is a pilot project, and, as such, we are starting somewhat conservatively with twelve E-readers and they are only at the Rawlings Library for now. The e-readers available to checkout from the library are the Nook. We chose the Nook because it is common in the marketplace and it also has the flexibility to download e-books from a variety of publishers. Each Nook @ the library is preloaded with selected books. We are putting a number of bestselling titles on each Nook. This is one advantage of e-books on an e-reader. You can carry a whole host of books with you in one portable device.

There are some special requirements to checkout e-readers @ the library, including restricting use to adults only and insuring that each user of a library-provided Nook receives sufficient instructions in how to use and care for the e-reader responsibly.

We hope the new Nook e-reader @ the library will be popular. The e-reader program is only one of several new wireless digital projects the library is working to make available this year. Some of the other projects include laptops and tablets @ the library, and more e-content to download to your own personal e-reader, tablet, or similar device. All of these services together make up what we are calling the Pueblo City-County Library District’s Center for Emerging Technologies. The Center should be fully up and running by October of this year.

As always, it is an exciting time @ your library. For more information on r-readers @ the Library, call 562-5601. 


The library is a learning institution.  First and foremost, the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) exists to ensure members of our...