Performance trends

Why is this measure important?

"Total use of library services" includes such services as the numbers of materials circulation, in-person visits, program attendance, information questions answered, booked rooms, and the use of technology. MCPL's mission is to offer free and equal access to services and resources that connect individuals to ideas and information which sustain and enrich their lives. Each library branch provides educational, recreational and vocational resources and activities for community members of all ages. One approach to evaluating performance is through measuring customer use by volume.

Projected measures account for estimations of service increases due to the County Executive's proposals for materials funding, library hours, and programming expansion, and the net estimated effects of library closures for Refresh and renovation, including use of nearby branches and interim facilities.

Factors contributing to current performance

  • Increased availability of online resources.
  • Extended hours for several branches.

Factors restricting performance improvement

  • Select branches were closed for refreshes in FY18: two branches closed for one month duration each; one branch closed for five months ; one branch closed for eight months; and one branch closed for 12 months.

Performance improvement plan

  • Add new high interest online resources planned for FY19.
  • Identify what customers value and use that information to increase targeted marketing campaigns in multiple formats.
  • Create resources to introduce new customers to library services.


Number of items checked out (circulation) and materials used in library

Attendance at library programs

This measure includes physical items checked out, and items used in a branch (combining two separately listed measures in prior publications).

Programs increased due to the 9.6% increase in library hours and related staffing increase in FY15, plus the programming of the MCPL Outreach Team.

eBooks and eAudioBooks borrowed

Library electronic database usage

Decrease between FY14 and FY15 reflects the movement of the "Safari Technology Books" database product out of this measure and into the Ebooks and EAudioBooks program measure (because the database product is an on-line e-book).

Information questions answered

The decrease in FY16 information questions answered reflected methodological challenges in gathering online, real time statistics on information transactions.