In City Administrator Al Roder’s Friday Memo for this week, published today, he wrote:
In October, the library experienced a 9% increase in circulation over the same month in 2006. The number of visitors and reference questions also increased. Did you know that between 300 and 500 people visit the library each day?
Locally Grown’s web traffic stats for October show us getting between 219 (Oct. 7) and 717 (Oct. 17) visits per day (3,549 unique visitors for the month).
But there were six days when we dipped under the 300 visits/day mark, another victory for the Northfield Public Library in the ongoing cutthroat competition for the hearts and minds of Northfield citizens.
“This is the 14th consecutive month that we’ve beaten them,” said Lynne Notso Yong, executive director of the library. “You’d think with all their technological prowess, they’d have figured it out by now.”
Ross Currier, LG co-host, expressed frustration with the library juggernaut. “The library continues to feed at the government trough for all their financial support while we slurp for scraps. How fair is that?”
Mary Sheer Luck, Friends of the Northfield Public Library board member, said that the difference continues to be a customer service orientation. “The library staff actually tries to be nice to people. Locally Grown seems to tolerate them. Just ask Victorio and Kassi Summatino. They’re quite a nice elderly couple who visit the library most every day and we welcome them with open arms, despite the fact that they’re not from here originally. But on Locally Grown, they practically have to beg to be allowed to participate.”
Tracy Davis, another LG co-host, contends that the library’s customer service orientation is more manipulative than heart-felt. “They’re really just pandering to the public, sucking up to them because they’re trying to position themselves at the front of the infrastructure upgrade line. This isn’t new, by the way. The library pulled this crap back in the 80s when the building was upgraded and they been doing it ever since, knowing that in 20 or 30 years, they’d have to ask for public support for another building expansion. Astute citizens are not going to be fooled.”