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City libraries record a near 40% jump in new members<span><p>In the 2021/22 financial year, the City's libraries welcomed 40 762 new members. </p><p>In the 2022/23 financial year, new members increased by 38,6% to 56 502.</p><p>During this period, libraries also circulated nearly 4,6 million items including books and DVDs.</p><p>'The statistics are a wonderful reminder of just how important our libraries are, and their evolution over time to keep pace with a world that is becoming more digital by the day. I tip my hat to our wonderful staff members who are key drivers of our success, but also the thousands of community members who find value in the services on offer. The continued innovation and efforts to ensure that libraries remain relevant in our world today is something to admire, particularly because it does not come without its challenges. I want to encourage community members who haven't yet signed up, to make their way to their local library, and be a part of this ever-growing club,' said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.  <br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:802px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>Other significant achievements in the past financial year have included:</p><ul><li>A 44% increase in the number of visitors accessing the internet via SmartCape, from 236 307 in 2021/22 to 341 319 in 2022/23</li><li>Persons aged 26+ accounted for 50% of usage, with those aged 13 – 17 accounting for 15% </li><li>Usage of the PressReader App increased by 6,8% </li><li>12 443 children attended 405 holiday programme activations hosted by libraries<br></li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:642px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>Another digital tool is OverDrive,<strong> </strong>which provides library patrons with e-books and digital audiobooks which can be<strong> </strong>accessed via the Libby App. The material available on OverDrive complements and supports<strong> </strong>overall library collections. In 2022/23 loans increased by 63,8% and reservations<strong> </strong>placed for material already on loan grew by 44,6%. </p><p>The number of items on the catalogue increased from 6 822 in June 2022 to a staggering 27 577 by the end of June 2023.</p><p>The most popular titles downloaded on Libby/Overdrive for the past financial year were:</p><ul><li>'Die verkeerde vrou' by Irma venter – checked out 261 times</li><li>'Doolhof' by Rudie van Rensburg – checked out 237 times</li><li>'The girl in his shadow' by Audrey Blake – checked out 237 times</li><li>'Murasie' by Chanette Paul – checked out 193 times</li><li>'Monster' by Rudie van Rensburg – checked out 188 times<br></li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>'We are making such great strides, and this really is a wonderful story to tell. However, it is important to acknowledge that many of our libraries do operate under very challenging circumstances, particularly as relates to crime and vandalism of facilities, but also the challenges brought about by load-shedding, which has the potential to hamper operations. In spite of this, our libraries have performed very well to keep the doors open, and continue providing services, even when the lights are off. Work too is ongoing to make our facilities more resilient to these challenges, but as with so many things, success is a shared responsibility. The numbers are proof of just how valuable our libraries are – let's work together to ensure that they, along with their communities, continue to thrive,' added Councillor Van der Ross.</p><p> <br></p><p><strong>Caption 3: </strong>Southfield library staff engages with youth during information session </p><p><strong> </strong></p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2023-09-04T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#2c600120-f64e-48e2-b077-11a8cf3f3e30;L0|#02c600120-f64e-48e2-b077-11a8cf3f3e30|library;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#87ff89bd-c822-4384-a704-de5c95f97251;L0|#087ff89bd-c822-4384-a704-de5c95f97251|southfield;GP0|#57a1b3db-9eff-4be2-aab4-71368c770916;L0|#057a1b3db-9eff-4be2-aab4-71368c770916|membership10

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