December 16th, 2008 by Clay Williams
Hunter students and faculty have long been loyal to their liberal arts pedigree and this has not changed recently, as the statistics demonstrate below. Moreover, they are part of a national trend, for as the economic news worsens, folks have apparently started to use the library more. Here is a story from NBC describing this in Los Angeles: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/28165432#28165432
For those looking for corroboration from the newspapers here are stories from LA (which includes statistics from San Francisco and Chicago), as well as a Times article regarding New York Public’s (and formerly Hunter’s) Paul LeClerc.
While one may well ask how these stories and statistics relate to academic libraries such as Hunter’s, I would point out the following circulation statistics that demonstrate that Hunter students are checking out more books than ever. Here are the circulation statistics from the last several years that show this. It should be mentioned that this does not include CLICS which allows them to borrow books from all CUNY schools (except for CUNY Law), a service our students use at a rate second only to the Graduate Center.
Hunter’s circulation has grown by nearly 20 percent over the last several years. Our students are checking out more books than ever.
This is accompanied by evidence that net sales of academic books increased an average of 4% each year in the current millennium. The following website contains this and other interesting statistics about publishing.
And, for those who think today’s students do all their browsing online, I would point out some of our reshelving statistics:
|Books reshelved from the shelving area||102,876||91,654||84,879|
|Materials used in the library and shelved||47,843||43,941||49,009|
|Total of books found (on tables)||15,679||13,643||12,522|
|Total of journals found (on tables)||2,558||2,495||2,336|
|Total of single issues found (on tables)||3,296||3,193||2,389|
It would appear that our students are browsing the shelves and not just the online catalog.
The bottom rows demonstrate that our students are reading current magazines in print at an increasing pace even though these are often online as well.
In fact, from 10/8/08 — 12/11/08, 202,578 people swiped in to the library through the turnstiles.
I would also leave it for the Economics Department to comment on Barnes & Noble’s poor third quarter.