This year’s report showed several areas of growth around the state:
- For the first time since the 2009-2010, both print and electronic item usage showed an increase in the aggregate statewide data. Nearly 80% (65) of libraries reported an increase in usage of electronic materials across formats including e-book, e-audio and e-video. Fewer libraries, 67% (55), reported an increase in database usage.
- Public libraries continue to offer more programming and attendance at programs is increasing. Over a 5 year span, program attendance has increased 25%.
- Reference transactions also showed a slight increase for the first time in several years.
- While computer usage continues to decline at most public libraries, WiFi usage increased 17% since 2018. At this time, not all libraries are able to report WiFi usage.
- Local operating budgets showed a slight increase in nominal dollars, however, a decrease in State Aid funding resulted in an overall decrease in library funding per capita.
- Library visits continue to show a decreasing pattern, however, this year’s decrease is largely due to discovering an error in reporting for a large library system. When accounting for the error, visitation is nearly flat since 2018.
Direct to Report Data Files: 2018-2019 Statistical Report of North Carolina Public Libraries