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Number of borrowers at Plattsburgh library at all-time high, says director

PLATTSBURGH - Plattsburgh Public Library use has increased significantly over the last few years, according to library director Stanley A. Ransom.

Circulation of books and other materials increased 3.2 percent from 2009 to 2010, reported Ransom, from 158,765 items to 163,810 items. Library visits increased from 128,969 to 132,193. Registered borrowers now are at 20,052 - an-all time high.

Use of the nine public computers has increased from 30,771 to 30,958, and reference questions grew from 9,222 in 2009 to 11,982 for 2010. The largest increase was in visits to the library Web site, www.plattsburghlib.org, which grew from 854,175 hits to 1,045,612. The site offers information on library programs and services, including the new Community Computer and Employment Resource Center, located on the first floor.

Under the direction of Janelle Shepard and Amy DuBois, the Community Computer and Employment Resource Center offers free classes in improving typing, job searching, resume writing, computer literacy, interviewing, networking, using Facebook professionally, and introduction to Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point. The classes are free, and walk-ins are welcome.

The economy may have many persons watching their expenses more closely, and thus making more use of the library's book and DVD collection, reference and database services and the free story hours and programs. Information on foundation grants and grant writing is also available free at the library through the Foundation Center.

Ransom attributed much of the renewed interest in the library's services to the library board, which determines policies to help the public get the most use out of their library. The library board encourages Ransom to apply for grants for books and services and to promote their use in the community.

The library, located at 19 Oak St., is open Monday, Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. During the school year, the library is open Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5 p.m.

For more information, contact the library at 563-0921.

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