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April 15, 2014 at 1:27 PM

The listing of the items that were checked out the most in 2013 was full of surprises for us, and we've been talking about it quite a bit among the staff here and also with staff from other libraries. For instance, twelve of the top twenty highest-use items were children's comics. Only one was a DVD (Brave), and only one was an adult book (Gone Girl). Over the last decade or so, as the Internet, Google, and smartphones have become more and more firmly entrenched parts of our daily lives, I've heard more and more speculation about whether libraries are necessary or how we're all going to have to shut down in ten years. I've always thought that type of talk is ludicrous, as libraries are one of humankind's most enduring institutions. Also during my many years of work as a children's librarian, while I was hearing all these dire statements about how kids don't read anymore, what I was working with were a bunch of kids who were jumping up and down with excitement about books. The schools are on break this week, and even as I write this, there are kids and teens out in the library reading good old-fashioned paper books. This isn't to say that there isn't a place for innovation and technology in the library--we grow with the times--but for me, it's comforting and heartening to see the learning, interest, and joy that books bring to people's lives on a daily basis.

Speaking of which, let me share with you the full list of the top twenty items checked out last year:

1. Babymouse (children's comic)
2. Consumer Reports (magazine)
3. Geronimo Stilton (children's comic)
4. Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures (children's comic)
5. Squish (children's comic)
6. Brave (movie)
7. Linn's Stamp News (magazine)
8. LEGO Ninjago, Masters of Spinjitzu (children's comic)
9. Pokemon Adventures: Diamond and Pearl: Platinum (children's comic)
10. Time (magazine)
11. People (magazine)
12. Amulet (children's comic)
13. Smurf's Graphic Novel (children's comic)
14. Winx Club (children's comic)
15. The New Yorker (magazine)
16. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever (children's comic)
17. Garfield & Co. (children's comic)
18. Gone Girl (adult novel)
19. Disney Fairies (children's comic)
20. Naruto (teen manga)

Best wishes,
Adrienne Furness


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