Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Libraries' Turnstile Counts at an All-time High

Our turnstile counts at the end of April 2006 are very strong – 1,151,432 visits. This means that we have already surpassed our 12-month count for last fiscal year by 13,917 visits, and the months of May and June remain in the fiscal year to add to this count.

We all remember July 2004 when we finished the first year of Project Destination Libraries, an initiative we envisioned as a three-year undertaking to reinvigorate, reenergize, and build community in the University Libraries as a place for students to research and learn. We increased attendance by 117,721 visits or 14.6%. This lead us to set what seemed to be an unachievable goal: attaining ONE MILLION visits by the end of the next fiscal year 2004-05.

This goal required us to attract an additional 74,673 visits. Without any new personnel and no additional budget allocation or space, we were challenged to do more with what we had.

Our solution was to employ the Rachesky Effect of finding value around us that had been ignored or underutilized, to find ways of capturing it to bring added value to our customers, and to offer services that would make our customers become repeat customers. We repurposed space and equipment, realigned personnel and programs through organizational development, and rethought the Libraries’ programs, services, and collections. We finished our second fiscal year of the project by greatly surpassing our ONE MILLION goal by 137,515 visits or 22.9%.

The current month of May and the coming month of June remain in our fiscal year 2005-06, and we have every reason to believe we will achieve a turnstile count of over 1,250,000 by the end of June 2006. This accomplishment is significant because it means that our students and faculty are choosing to come to the University Libraries to consult with our librarians and technical personnel, to use the University Libraries’ print and digital resources for their research and learning, to make use of the excellent technology of hardware and software that we offer our community, and to study individually and collaboratively in the ample differentiated space we provide ¬in a customer-friendly environment. Daily, we are excelling at making quality convenient for our customers.

Project Destination Libraries – a focus for developing community by making the Libraries a destination for research, learning, and friends – is approaching its third anniversary with the end of the current fiscal year. Our librarians and paraprofessional personnel are engaged in developing strategies for the Libraries to provide an even larger role in the academic life of the University, to offer programs, services, and collections for the Libraries to be the most important place on campus for learning outside of the classroom. View,,43179--,00.html for a listing of our major accomplishments for 2005-2006.

The University Libraries have a virtual side, too, that has not been mentioned in this article yet will be the focus of future Library Insider pieces. Our virtual services have greatly grown and expanded with changes to our e-collections of academic databases, e-journals, e-books, and other digital products including those in the rapidly growing Digital Media Repository.

For information, contact Arthur W. Hafner, Dean of University Libraries, at or (765) 285-5277.

This article was published in The Library Insider May 2006, pg. 2.


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