Young refugees from Syria are gaining important language and learning skills at Surrey Libraries storytimes.

Web fails to replace libraries

Surrey residents visited city libraries almost 2.5 million times last year, according to a report released this week

To those who think the web may have swallowed city libraries whole, click again.

On Thursday, library officials celebrated International Literacy Day at the Surrey City Centre Library.

At the same time, Surrey Public Libraries released a report with some compelling data showing the strength and popularity of the local library system.

Despite the popularity of the internet, the average number of daily visits to Surrey Public Libraries is 7,107, up from 6,396 five years ago. It represents an 11 per cent jump over that time.

In addition, about one in three patrons are spending more than an hour per visit at the library.

In addition, Surrey libraries have been a boon to people newly arriving in this city, figures show.

“Last year alone, nearly 3,000 adults benefited from programming directed to our newest citizens,” the report said.

Over five years, the number of new arrivals using the specific programs increased by 53 per cent for adults and 50 per cent for children.

Others getting benefit from Surrey libraries are the city’s most vulnerable citizens, the homeless and the poor, the report shows.

In total, 2,866 low income and vulnerable citizens were helped through library outreach programs in 2015.

New programs for people with disabilities is also taking off.

Stories for People with Developmental Disabilities began with 318 people in 2011 and now has 2,882 people taking part.

 

Surrey Public Library in 2015:

  • Number of library card holders: 161,131
  • Number of in-person visits last year: 2,466,250
  • Items borrowed: 4,174,284
  • Number of visits to Surrey Public Library website: 1,227,532

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

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