Novato Library circulation figures reached near-record amounts in the month of May, just four weeks after reopening following a partial remodel of the 40-year-old Novato Boulevard building. Patrons are borrowing nearly 20 percent more materials than they did last year during the same period – 40,990 items in May 2012 vs. 48,887 items in May 2013. The monthly figure represents at least a 10-year high.
The remodel created a marketplace in the front lobby to highlight the newest material. Branch Manager Janet Doerge said the recent changes are making it easier than ever to find new books, DVDs and CDs. Patrons have choice of the Lucky Day bestsellers, staff recommendations and other special displays.
“We’ve made materials they want to find easier to find, so they’re checking out more than they did before,” said Scott Bauer, Interim Director of the Marin County Free Library. “We have a pretty good handle on what’s popular, so we thought that if those things were what people really want to see and use, we should make them easier to find. It does give us a lot of satisfaction to know that the efforts we made are resonating with the Novato public.”
As part of Measure A improvements approved by Marin voters in June 2010, Novato is the first Marin County Free Library regional branch to be remodeled and the first to offer patrons one-stop service at a single, combined checkout and information desk. Patrons with reference needs or questions about a library account now can be provided answers at the same location.
The computerized checkout center is available for those who favor quick do-it-yourself service without waiting. During May 2013, more than 75 percent of materials were checked out by the new machines. Patrons still are being assisted by library staff -- sometimes at the new desk, the lobby, among the stacks or out in the community.
Visit the Novato Library at 1720 Novato Blvd. or call 473-2050.