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Library Top 10

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 6:00 am

By Rachel Edmondson

I have a confession to make. I love “Top 10” lists, year-in-reviews, countdowns, you name it. I’m always so curious to see what is most popular and how it compares to my choices and preferences. Whether it is baby names, songs or books, I’m always intrigued. I must not be the only one, because entire websites are dedicated to lists, such as Listverse. On this site you can find lists on all sorts of topics from politics to entertainment to the “Top 10 Influential People Who Never Lived.” If you have a project you need to do that you are trying to avoid, I highly recommend this site.

Of course, the end of a year is prime time for “Top 10” lists because they make for a quick and easy year-in-review. This got me thinking…wouldn’t it be fun if the library had a “Top 10” list? Haven’t you always been curious what other library users are reading and watching? I enjoy the New York Times Best Sellers lists as much as the next person, but how fun would it be to see something more specific to where we live? So, without further ado, here are some “Top 10” and “Top 5” (because who says there has to be 10?) lists from the Spokane County Library District for 2014:

Library Top 10 by Rachel Edmondson | Spokane County Library District

Top 10 Adult Books

Turns out Spokane County really likes fiction. Only one nonfiction title made our top 10 checkouts list.

  1. Sycamore Row by John Grisham
  2. Second Watch by J.A. Jance
  3. Never Go Back by Lee Child
  4. Swamplandia by Karen Russell (this was the Spokane is Reading selection for this year!)
  5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  6. Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  7. W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton
  8. Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (in case you didn’t already know, this a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling.)
  9. Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
  10. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History by Robert M. Edsel (sole non-fiction title!)

Top 5 Teen Books

(3 of these were made into movies this year, and Allegiant is planned for 2016. Once again, only fiction made the list.)

  1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. House of Hades by Rick Riordan
  4. Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  5. Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Top 5 Children’s Books

(all fiction, are you noticing a pattern here?)

  1. Hard Luck (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, book 8) by Jeff Kinney
  2. Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star (Dork Diaries, book 7) by Rachel Renee Russell
  3. Wild Born by Brandon Mull
  4. Big Nate: Great Minds Think Alike by Lincoln Peirce
  5. Save Rafe! by James Patterson

Top 5 DVDs

  1. Despicable Me
  2. Iron Man 3
  3. Man of Steel
  4. Frozen
  5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Top 5 Music CDs

  1. Prism by Katy Perry
  2. 21 by Adele
  3. Frozen Soundtrack by Various Artists
  4. Red by Taylor Swift
  5. Night Visions by Imagine Dragons

Top 10 Overdrive Checkouts (across all formats and age levels)

Overdrive is where you will find our downloadable digital collection. If you have an eReader or MP3 player, Overdrive is your new best friend. Here you’ll find free eBooks, audiobooks, and music that you can download to your device. I love being able to grab my tablet, find a book to download, and have it in my hands right then, no trip to the library needed. This has been especially handy on vacations when I’ve misjudged how much reading material to bring with me.

  1. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich
  2. The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
  3. Unlucky 13 by James Patterson
  4. A Pedigree to Die For by Laurien Berenson
  5. The Collector by Nora Roberts
  6. The Target by David Baldacci
  7. The Chase by Janet Evanovich (over-achiever!)
  8. The Target (audio) by David Baldacci
  9. Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
  10. Top Secret Twenty-One (audio) by Janet Evanovich (you, again?)

Top 10 Hoopla Downloads

If you haven’t used Hoopla yet, it’s worth checking out. You can stream movies, television and music, and we just recently added audiobooks as well. My daughters were thrilled when I was able to stream the Frozen Soundtrack for them, and I was thrilled that we could listen to it occasionally without buying it and having it around 24/7!

  1. Frozen Motion Picture Soundtrack by various artists (music)
  2. LEGO: The Adventures of Clutch Powers (movie)
  3. Intolerable Cruelty (movie)
  4. Curious George 2: Follow that Monkey (movie)
  5. World’s Greatest Dad (movie)
  6. Twelve Years a Slave: Solomon Northrup’s Odyssey (movie)
  7. Hanna (movie)
  8. Ghost Stories by Coldplay (music)
  9. Now That’s What I Call Music! Vol. 50 (music) by various artists
  10. Cats: Caressing the Tiger (television)

Library Use and Programming

It’s a bit harder to create a “Top 10” list for programming and library use. Comparing Storytime for preschoolers to an adult program on seed propagation just doesn’t work. So this section takes more of a “year-in-review” approach, and boy was this year busy! (Statistics are from January, 2014-November, 2014)

  1. Spokane Valley Library had the highest number of checkouts in 2014 with 551,115. District wide we had 1,861,035 checkouts. This doesn’t even include downloadable or streaming materials or online renewals.
  2. While door counters are not an exact science, North Spokane Library had the highest count for people walking through its doors with 299,293. Of course, some people come in for programs or computers and don’t check out, which can also make determining the “busiest” library an art more than a science. Our door counters captured 1,271,124 visits to our libraries district wide.
  3. Community groups booked our meeting rooms 3,175 times this year.
  4. There were 230,966 computer bookings.
  5. Our highest attendance for Storytime took place at the Spokane Valley Library Toddler Storytime on February 27 with 88 people (thankfully our popular Storytimes aren’t usually this popular!)
  6. Our highest attendance for a children’s program was Moran Prairie Library’s “Fizz, Boom, Read Magic Show” on July 11, with 184 people.
  7. The North Spokane Library wins highest teen program attendance with 74 people at “Volcano Eruptions” on June 20.
  8. “Hike the Day Away” was our most popular in-library adult program with 110 people at North Spokane on March 26 (Spokane Valley was right behind with 98 people for this program).
  9. The Hope in Hard Times series marked a first for the library district, since it included filling the North Spokane Library with artifacts from the Depression era. It also brought us our largest attendance for an Adult out-of-library program, when Timothy Egan presented “Voices of the Dustbowl” at Whitworth University on April 13. 267 people showed up to hear this National Book Award winning author.
  10. This year, we introduced Lego programs and they were wildly popular. Winning highest numbers for an All Ages program was the Argonne Library’s “Let There Be Legos!” program on February 1 with 356 people (North Spokane was close behind with 343 in November).

My Personal Spokane County Library District Top 5 Countdown

In other words, why I love working at the library…

  1. I am an avid library user myself. I am so glad that I do not have to purchase all of the items I read, watch, and listen to. Not only does the library provide my paycheck (thank you tax payers!), it also saves me an incredible amount of money every year.
  2. We have excellent staff. We love helping you find the next book to read, providing Storytimes for your little ones, visiting you in retirement communities, and being a part of your community in so many different ways. Also, my coworkers are a lot of fun to work with, there’s never a dull moment.
  3. The library is always trying new things. This year we introduced Lego programs, had depression era artifacts on display, trained staff to serve as Navigators for the new health care exchange, purchased iPads to replace our early learning computers, and SO much more.
  4. We also started engaging Spokane County in community conversations this year. The goal is to collect information about our community’s shared aspirations. The public knowledge gathered through these efforts will be curated and shared with both the community at large and with the organizations, nonprofits, and government entities that might be better positioned to act upon those aspirations. We are continuing with these in 2015 and we’d love to have your voice in the conversation. So please let us know if you’d like to participate!
  5. And the number one reason I love working at the library is…we have the best members! We are thankful for all you bring to your libraries. They would not be the same without you and we look forward to serving you in 2015!


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