From The Independent:
The number of visitors to the National Library of Ireland (NLI) has fallen to its lowest in four years as collections go digital, new figures have revealed.
In an annual review of the 140 year old institution, figures showed 197,000 people visited the library last year down 20pc on the 247,000 who visited in 2016.
In the past decade, the highest number of visitors was recorded in 2014 when 270,000 visited the library of record’s exhibitions and research rooms.
Director of the NLI, Dr Sandra Collins said the move towards digital and online media had impacted visitor levels at the library and brought about new challenges to make collections accessible to the public.
“Digitisation is a really massive game changer for libraries. It is something we need to challenge ourselves on as well because we don’t want to close our doors.
“It is something I think libraries around the world are watching now,” she explained.
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Key highlights from the Annual Review 2017 include:
• 18 million online interactions.
• Over 300,000 websites collected and preserved.
• Major additions to the National Library’s Yeats collection, the most significant in the world. These included letters to Yeats from James Joyce, and family portraits of Lily and Lolly Yeats, purchased with generous funding from a family trust.
• More than 14,000 new books, newspapers and periodicals were acquired.
• More than 24,000 people attended 391 events.
• Six exhibitions were staged during 2017, attracting 140,000 visitors.
Direct to Full Text: National Library of Ireland Annual Report
24 pages; PDF.