Library statistical report for Jan/Feb '09 has landed in my office mailbox. Circulation for the media collection, DVD, VHS, CD,& audio-cassette combined is down year-to-date and quarter-to-date by about 9%. Public-access PC usage is down by an astonishing 20%. But print circulation is up by a healthy percentage, (Sorry, didn't bring it home and don't remember the exact figure).
Couple of possible reasons for the Media dip; the aging of our VHS collection, the shocking attrition of the DVD and CD collections from damage and theft. But there is also a drop in the need for physical media formats. Music and video are increasingly downloaded online. How do we maintain ourselves as a "content-provider" for non-print media?
Public-access PC's are increasingly needed only for their printing capacity. For everything else, the wireless laptop reigns supreme. In fact, our offline word-processing PC's showed an increase in usage. Checking the shelf for a phone-request this evening, I heard a gust of laughter from one of the study carrels. He was watching something on his wireless laptop.