During 2011, 146,429 visitors were recorded at Marion Carnegie Library. That number averages out to more than 12,000 visitors each month of the year! In addition, more than 400 meetings and events were scheduled in the library’s two meeting rooms during 2011. Currently the library hosts the regular meetings of the Kiwanis, Southern Illinois Photographic Society, Marion Women’s Club, Southern Illinois Chic Mommies, Weight Watchers and Shawnee Quilters, among others. The meeting spaces are also used for training by the Illinois Heartland Library System.
Special one-time events occur monthly in the library’s meeting rooms. In 2011, the library hosted Audubon specialist Brian “Fox” Ellis, Science Guy Jason Lindsey, local authors and historians, movies, Santa Claus, fitness classes and a Renaissance Faire. The meeting rooms are equipped with a screen, sound system, computer access and various seating arrangements to accommodate up to 60 people.
In addition to visitors at the library, 50,363 items were checked out of the library’s adult collection during 2011. The Children’s and Teen Departments reported 37,883 items and 12,645 items checked out respectively. One of MCL’s newest services, downloadable e-books and audio books, recorded 2,972 items checked out. The library’s total circulation for 2011 was 103,863 items.
Marion Carnegie Library opened to the public on February 29, 1916 with 1,162 volumes and 680 borrowers. The library has since added 12,000 square feet to the existing structure, including an elevator, meeting room, restrooms, study rooms, expanded Children’s and Teen Departments, a coffee bar and multiple computer workstations. The library’s collection now exceeds 77,000 items and there are 9,600 registered borrowers. DVDs, CDs, computers, Internet, wifi, audio books and game systems are now offered.
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