Library Circulation Statistics

The staff at the Fletcher Free Library closely monitors data about circulation, active patrons, and library visits to improve the services provided to the Burlington community.

Items Circulated (7/1/17 - 3/31/18)

Circulation is a key measure of library activity. Higher circulation indicates that the library is able to supply patrons with desired materials. Circulation measures not only physical assets, but also online borrowing.


Counting library circulation has been a statistic collected by libraries for over a hundred years. This clearly defined and historic statistic aids in benchmarking against similar libraries as well as considering the use of the library’s collection by the community.

Our circulation numbers have gone down slightly. This ties into the decrease in library visits. Our goal is to increase these statistics through improved marketing efforts, expanding programming, and growing outreach.

Our ILS (Integrated Library System), Polaris, keeps statistics of every item that is checked out and renewed. We are always careful to look at our statistics in aggregate because a patron’s borrowing record is private, by library policy and by state law.

Downloadable & Database Usage

Since 2010, the library has added downloadable content to its collection. This content includes downloadable audiobooks and downloadable eBooks, as well as online databases like ProQuest and Consumer Reports.

The surge in smart phone and tablet usage has increased the ‘circulation’ of  downloadable content from the library. The library captures these statistics as part of the circulation numbers and also monitors how downloadable content circulation compares to physical content circulation. We want to be responsive to the needs of our users and how they want content delivered.

Our downloadable content usage has increased over recent years and continues to rise. Current national trends show that eBooks use is leveling off and in some areas, declining.  However, downloadable audiobooks usage is increasing. Our data seems to reflect these national trends.

Our vendors provide us with circulation statistics. It is important to note, as with all our circulation statistics, that we only look at these in the aggregate. A patron’s borrowing record is private, by library policy and by state law. Our vendors abide by these rules as well.

Library Visits (7/1/17 - 5/31/18)

Library visits are the number of folks who come through our front door. Our security pass through also doubles as a people counter. Current data is not 100% reliable. We are working toward implementing a data tracking system that accurately counts library visits.


The library is important as a place of learning, exploration, and pleasure for the community. Our goal is to provide a welcoming and warm space that community members visit regularly to borrow materials, attend programs, experience art, learn new technology skills, read, and much more.

Our visits are showing a slight decline. We are working on bringing more folks into the library through innovative programming and more partnerships. We are also working on initiatives to make our space more inviting and usable. We recently extended our Sunday Tech Center hours and expect similar changes will help increase library visits.

Our security pass through is also used to count patrons. We have doubts that our people counter is accurate for large groups moving through the doors. Right now, we don’t have a people counter for our back door, which can be used when we have meetings or events in our basement Community Room.  Again, this data does not include patrons who only check out materials from our online resources. We know that many patrons borrow or use our downloadable and/or online services and may never set foot inside the library.