Library tech stats

With all of the news about technology and how it constantly grows, changes, and expands, did you ever wonder what happens behind the scenes at the library? Technology is a critical component of the 21st century library, and we have the stats to prove it!

For starters, did you know that there are over 100 computers in the library, divided between those used by the staff and the public? All those computers don’t keep running on their own! Our information technology department uses a help desk ticketing system to track issues, and it turns out we resolved more than 1000 support requests in 2012!

The library runs software to manage use of the public computers as well as printing, and if you’ve ever used our computers I’m sure you are familiar with it. The statistics from those logs showed that there were more than 5,000 print jobs and a total of 18,000 pages printed by customers in the past year. Also, there were a staggering 100,000 sessions used on the public PCs. Remember that each time someone logs in, they are allocated somewhere between 2-4 hours depending on which computer they are using. Let’s do the math – that’s more than 200,000 hours spent on those computers!

In terms of our website, 2012 was a very interesting year. More than a year and a half in the making, our new site was built on top of an open-source content management system called Drupal. We launched it in March 2012, and saw a total of HALF A MILLION visits to the site over the course of the year. During that time, traffic from mobile and tablet devices increased heavily. We are currently working on a mobile version of the site that we hope to launch soon! Additionally, our new web-based catalog was launched at the same time, and in approximately 200,000 visits throughout the year there were over 2 MILLION pageviews! That means every time someone starts searching in our catalog, they view an average of 10 pages. Can you imagine going back to card catalogs?? I didn’t think so.

Finally, our staff generate a tremendous amount of email and digital files in the course of serving the more than 30,000 library cardholders in the area. There are over 60 gigabytes of email stored on our internal email server, and almost a HALF A TERABYTE of information stored on our file server. Wow! Petabytes, here we come.

These statistics will only continue to grow in the future as technology continues to embed itself in the fabric of everyday life, in every area and aspect. Trends we are on the lookout for in the coming year include increasingly high-resolution images for the Web, optimizing our presence for mobile devices, migrating servers and services “to the cloud”, and the diffusion of information technology skills beyond the walls of the IT department to each and every staff member. 2013 is already shaping up to be an exciting year… can you imagine what 2014 has in store for us?

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