Barrington Area Library Says Its Online Usage Is Expanding

Article excerpt

The Barrington Area Library's total circulation increased by less than 1 percent during the last fiscal year, but that's just fine with Executive Director Barbara Sugden and other library officials.

Circulation, which accounts for books, audio-visuals and all other materials checked out by patrons, rose .83 percent to 570,903 from July 1, 1999, to June 30, 2000, according to library statistics released Monday.

But that figure is misleading and barely conveys the full use patrons are getting from the library because more and more are accessing the library via its Internet Web site, officials said.

"Everybody is so busy nowadays that it actually makes me feel good that we can allow them to do more from their home," Sugden said Monday.

The library's circulation figures do not account for information people accessed on-line, primarily through various magazine and business databases where they can read entire articles and reviews from their home or work computer.

A few examples of those are FirstSearch, Information Access, Reference USA and Sorkins - databases users can access from any computer, whether it be at the library or at their home. …