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St. Lucie County Libraries Experience Continued Increases in Programs, Visitors

Post Date:  11/17/2016

Library super readersThe St. Lucie County Library System experienced a 5 percent in visitors during the fiscal year 2015-16 with more than 585,900 people stopping by one or more of the five branch locations. Additionally there were nearly 345,000 virtual visits to the St. Lucie County Library through its website.

These visitors checked out 775,538 books, DVDs, music cds, e-Books and audio books throughout the year (a 2-percent increase compared to 2015). While circulation increased slightly, St. Lucie County libraries experienced a 34 percent increase in the use of public computers with more than 100,000 sessions during the year. 

In an effort to help bridge the digital divide, St. Lucie County libraries began a new Book-a-Tech program, where patrons can schedule one-on-one sessions with staff who provide assistance in using mobile devices such as tablets and laptops as well as general desktop and laptop computer help. Nearly 24,000 people signed up for these free tutorials where they learned to download free mp3s through the library’s Freegal music subscription service or checked out eBooks with their iPad or Kindle.  In addition to individual sessions, several libraries offered group workshops on using social media tools such as Facebook and Pinterest, as well as work-related software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel and Word.

“Our staff is ready to assist residents with these new technologies at whatever point of digital literacy they are at and teach them how to walk those one or two steps further across the digital literacy bridge,” explained St. Lucie County Library Manager Susan Jacob. “Digital literacy means everyone should be able browse for themselves without intervention or barriers.”

This past budget year, the library system received increased funding from the Board of County Commissioners as well as the Friends of the St. Lucie County Library to return to five-days per week service at all of its branches. Because of the increase in hours and additional programing, both the Port St. Lucie and Zora Neale Hurston branches saw significant increases in visitors (22 percent and 49 percent respectively).

“These increase can easily be attributed to the additional hours, but it’s also due to the philosophy of the library staff, which is: “Look for ways to say ‘Yes,” added Jacob. “I’m proud of our library staff and their drive to create new and innovative ways in which to engage our customers whether that is with children’s programs that focus on hands-on science experiments or workshop that teach teens and adults how to create stop-animation videos.”

For more information about the St. Lucie County Library System including hours, locations and programs visit: http://library.stlucieco.gov.