Arlington Public Library is getting more than half a million dollars to add 12,000 more titles to its collection, mostly in eBook form.
Last month, the county council passed a budget that included a one-time $543,000 allocation to the county library system in an effort to expand its collection. This money will come into effect at the beginning of the fiscal year, July 1.
“The additional funds will allow us to get more books into more hands, faster,” Library Director Diane Kresh said in a press release. “A well-stocked and diverse collection benefits the whole community.”
In particular, the money will be used to increase the library’s collection of electronic titles. Demand for both of these products is at an “all-time high,” according to the Arlington Public Library, with departures increasing 210% for eAudio titles and 98.5% for eBooks since 2019.
The hope is that the additional funds will help “significantly reduce” customer wait times for popular titles.
“The lion’s share of one-time funding will go towards reducing these wait times by adding more copies of ebooks/eaudiobooks with high holdings to the collection,” Peter Petruski, the library’s collections manager, told ARLnow. by email. .
A smaller portion of the funding will go to more copies of printed books, as demand is not as high as for electronic versions. Printed books cost less than their electronic counterparts, Petruski noted.
“The growth of electronic hardware formats has been the biggest change in recent history,” writes Petruski. “This funding will allow us to continue to provide a broad collection for every reader’s interest while reducing wait times.”
The library will also expand its catalog of books in Spanish with part of the funding.
The county council approved its $1.5 billion annual budget last month. In it, the Arlington Public Library was allocated a total of approximately $16 million, an increase of nearly 6% over the previous year’s budget.