Magazines tend to have two uses in public libraries. First, our patrons like to browse through new issues. People dip into a few articles, flip through photographs, and generally surf the waves of popular culture.
Once a magazine issue is no longer current, however, it has another life as a reference source. Older magazines are used by high school students doing papers, adults doing consumer research, and reference librarians tracking down recent facts.
There are costs to living in remote rural areas. You can't just run down to the supermart. There are no movie theaters or big hardware stores. There aren't, when it comes right down to it, many of the trappings of civilization.
But some might call these benefits, not costs. There are no traffic jams. There are no stoplights. At night, you can still see the stars. Deer wander your land. It is quiet.
For a long time, the best way to examine our library performance was to look at circulation statistics -- the number of items people checked out.
These stats still tell an interesting story. At all but one of our full service (7 day a week) libraries, business is up. Circulation at the Philip S. Miller Library increased about 5% over 1997. Highlands Ranch is up 15%. Parker is up a little over 8%.