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2021: A Year in Review

2021: A Year in Review

2021 Year in Review graphic

2021 was a year of transitions and changes for the library. As we continued to deal with the effects of COVID-19 on our communities, the library was able to reopen its doors in May 2021 to invite patrons back into our buildings. Throughout the year, whether doing Curbside Service or in-person, we were able to provide meaningful virtual and in-person programming, offer digital and physical reading materials and partner with other organizations in the community to lend support throughout Madison. As we continue to reflect on the year, we wanted to share some of the data that tells our story. Read below for stats and fun tidbits about the usage of our various library services in 2021. 

2021 Year in Review Online Databases Graphic

We'll start by talking about our online databases: the top five most popular databases included Consumer Reports, Ancestry Library, Flipster, NoveList and Transparent Language! Consumer Reports had more than 90K pageviews, Ancestry Library had 55,783 searches and our New York Times digital access had over 1,000 visitors this year. With 30+ databases to choose from, there's so much to discover.

Explore Online Databases

2021 Year in Review Computer Use graphic

One service we're always proud to offer is the use of our public computers. We know not everyone has access to good WiFi or the programs they need to succeed and being able to offer free, public computer service, including printing, faxing and scanning, is important to us! In 2021, we had 63,771 logins for our computers - 9,835 were library card holders, while 9,083 utilized our guest passes!

Learn More about Internet and Computer Use

2021 Year in Review Physical Checkouts

In 2021, our checkouts for physical materials nearly doubled! From Jan 1 - Nov 30, we issued 1,458,937 items at our locations, including 4,879 from the Dream Bus. Sequoya Library continues to be our most popular library for checking out materials, with Pinney in second and Central Library in third. Thanks to the DVD-watchers, gamers and our many, many readers for showing us some love this year!

Use LINKcat to Check Out Materials

2021 Year in Review Digital Checkouts

As we continue our look back at 2021, eBooks and Audiobooks continued to be very popular, with 593,262 total checkouts of 75,812 titles! We also had 14,987 magazine checkouts, with the most popular magazines being The New Yorker, The Economist, Cook's Illustrated, HGTV Magazine and Us Weekly. Thanks to all of you amazing readers out there for utilizing our fantastic Wisconsin Digital Library!

Browse Titles on Overdrive

2021 Year in Review Library Visits graphics

Visitors to our libraries in 2021 were limited due to our buildings being closed to the public from January-May of this year. However, from the last week in May through the end of November, we've welcomed 539,254 visitors to our libraries! Sequoya was the most visited library this year with 112,844 visitors, while Central Library was a close second with 92,047 visitors in 2021. We know how much browsing the stacks means to you, so thanks to our many visitors this year!

Find Your Neighborhood Library

2021 Year in Review Dream Bus

Our mobile library, the Dream Bus, visits a dozen locations around Madison on a weekly basis, providing access to residents who may not be able to reach our physical locations due to transportation barriers. Kids love seeing the big, friendly bus roll up to their neighborhoods and we've formed partnerships with community centers, after-school programs, schools, apartment buildings and more to offer service in convenient locations. We had 4,879 checkouts from over 3k visits to the Dream Bus in 2021!

Keep Up with the Dream Bus

2021 Year in Review Library Card graphic

The Madison community can access so many free resources with the addition of one small thing - a library card! From January 1 - December 31 2021, we were able to issue 10,898 NEW library cards (an increase of 34% from 2020) and renew many more! Your library card gives you access to our online databases, newspapers, comic books, ebooks and audiobooks, and lots more. Start the new year with new resources at hand!

Apply for a Library Card

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