When the was expanded to it’s current size in 1967 the population of the town was roughly 6,000 people. In the four decades since then the population has more than doubled in size and the library hasn’t grown at all.
This was one of the major reasons the library and voters supported a plan which will begin library expansion in 2014.
“Right now it’s tough because we don’t have spaces for everyone; toddlers, elementary students and middle school students all share the same small room upstairs,” Rownak Hussain, director of the library, said.
The problem doesn’t stop with space for people, last year the library got 5,000 new pieces of physical media (books, cds, dvds, etc.) but they have had to get rid of nearly the same amount of old material to make room.
“At a public library you should be able to go in and find what you want, we don’t have room for everything now so we sometimes need to order it from another library which can take up to a week,” Hussain said.
Here is a rundown of some of the growth the library has seen in the past five years.
- Since 2007 the library has seen a 65 percent increase in computer use. In 2011 4,400 people used the four computers in the library.
- Since 2007 the attendance for programs offered at the library has grown from 500 people to over 1,500. Often times these programs are limited in attendance because of the amount of seating available in the library.
- Last year the library circulated over 130,00 physical items with their 8,000 registered borrowers. That means each person rented 16 items from the library. With a two-week rental, the borrowers each had a book in their possession for 8 months out of the year.
- In the past five years the Hopkinton Public Library borrowed 50,000 items for users through the inter library loan program. While no library can have everything that anyone could want, the new library will allow for more shelf space and therefore more items available to residents without a wait.