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More are checking out library

Whether they are checking out new bestsellers or classic movies on videotape, more Pasco County residents are using the county library system than ever before.

"We have been showing a big increase in circulation this year, and we're very happy about that," said library director Barbe Bonjour.

Circulation _ the number of books, magazines, videotapes and audiotapes taken out _ is up nearly 11 percent for the nine months between October 1995 and June 1996, when compared with the same period between 1994 and 1995, Bonjour said.

Average annual growth in years past has been about 3 percent, she said. Bonjour said the staff has discussed the reason for this year's much larger increase. "I think there are a number of factors," she said, outlining a few:

Changes in the reserve system. In response to public demand, Pasco libraries now place new books and bestsellers on reserve lists. "Before, they couldn't reserve new books," Bonjour said.

Centralized collection. Ordering books and other items for the county's seven libraries is now done centrally _ and more efficiently. "Before, the people out in the branches did more of the ordering themselves," Bonjour said.

New paperback policies. The librarywide paperback book collection is steadily undergoing some modifications, Bonjour said. "We're buying more popular titles, buying more series (of novels)," she said.

Population increases. Libraries in Zephyrhills, Land O'Lakes and Holiday, for example, seem to be attracting more patrons from such growing areas as central Pasco and Trinity.

If the circulation increases continue, "we should go over 2-million for the first time by the end of the (fiscal) year," Bonjour said. "It means the people in Pasco County are really using their libraries."

Current circulation, as of June 31, was almost 1.6-million.