Do you adequately staff the busiest parts of your library? For example, if you have a busy reference desk, you probably make sure there are staff to meet demand.
If your circulation desk gets busy in the afternoons, you probably put another person there to help.
But what if your digital branch is the busiest part of your library? What then?
Here’s what I mean. Take a peek at some annual stats from my library:
- Door count: 797,478 people
- Meeting room use: 137,882 people
- Library program attendance: 76,043 attendees
- Art Gallery visitors: 25,231 visitors
- Reference questions: 271,315 questions asked
How about website visits? We had 1,113,146 total visits to the website in 2014. The only larger number is is our circulation count (2,300,865 items).
The busiest part of my library is our digital branch – our website. More visits than meeting room attendance. More visits than library classes and events. More visits than our art gallery.
More visits than our physical building.
I’ll guess your library is similar. So how do we staff for this? I know, I know. Website visits are different than a person visiting the building. Building visitors will most likely stay longer, will need furniture to use, will step on carpet that needs cleaning, and will use computers that need to be maintained. While a digital branch visit might only last for two minutes.
Still … do you see a potential disparity here?
So I’ll ask my question again: Do you adequately staff the busiest parts of your library?
Image by Mervyn Chua