The number of active Hamilton Public Library users has decreased twenty percent since the beginning of the pandemic, and continues to drop.
There were 134,402 active cards at the end of January 2022, compared to 167,441 in March 2020 prior to the implementation of public health measures due to the pandemic.
The HPL defines active members as individuals who have used their HPL cards to borrow materials or to log into HPL online services.
HPL membership peaked in 2012 when there were 185,285 active members.
During the past five years, the number of members was steadily increasing. The HPL was hopeful of surpassing 30 percent of Hamilton residents being active members, which remains the HPL’s goal.
Physical visits to library branches reached 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels before the omicron wave of COVID.
Digital usage of HPL resources continues to level off from the early peaks of the pandemic.
Present digital circulation (use of online resources and electronic materials) is up only eight percent compared to 2019.
Total circulation, digital and physical, is down 36 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels.
The HPL is planning to expand hours this spring, and is hopeful that both active membership numbers and circulation will increase as people become more comfortable with in-person activities again.
HPL stats to the end of 2021 can be read here: https://hpl.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=1272&MeetingID=109