The Public Library announced a major milestone today. (Photo: Ashley Day)

The Public Library announced a huge milestone today.

According to a release, the library recently “crossed a new threshold” of circulating 1 million items to Chattanooga borrowers in fiscal year 2017.

The number signifies that visitors use a broad range of materials-everything from books to DVDs, equipment to resources-at the system’s four neighborhood branches: South Chattanooga, Northgate, Eastgate and downtown.

“The 1 million milestone is significant because it not only shows a community that actively uses its public library as a valued resource on a regular basis, but it is also indicative of the library staff’s professional and deliberate efforts to maintain a healthy and relevant collection of offerings that the citizens of Chattanooga want, use and in some cases help create,” according to a release. 

Highlighting the numbers, library leadership credited the success of their patron request system. Patrons are asked to fill out a form if an item can’t be located in the catalog. Library officials will order the item (if available) and put it on hold for you.

Since 2012, more than 24,000 titles have been acquired from individual requests, according to the release.

In addition, library staff is tasked with gathering and evaluating analytics, creating monthly reports to determine items to buy or replace and to pinpoint underused and underdeveloped categories within the collection.

“These numbers are very encouraging to us and certainly an indication we are getting it right by establishing a growing and evolving collection that is meaningful to Chattanoogans,” Corinne Hill, executive director of the library, said in a prepared statement.

Library officials said sewing machines and Wi-Fi hot spots are two of the highest-circulated items at the downtown branch.

The next step will be to expand the children’s collection-which accounts for 44 percent of the total circulation-while at the same time increasing the diversity of the titles offered.

The library maintains a collection of 275,787 items that are updated throughout the year.

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