Popularity of digital materials increases at library

by Joni Astrup

Associate editor

More than 300,000 items were checked out from the Elk River Library in 2012.

Will Hollerich
Will Hollerich

In his annual report to the Elk River City Council on Monday, March 4, Branch Manager Will Hollerich said 233,190 print materials and 101,967 media (video or audio) items were checked out last year, for a total circulation of 335,157 items.

That’s down 1.7 percent from 2011. But in the last year the library has seen an increase in digital material circulation — items like ebooks and audio books that are downloaded. Digital material circulation is up 104 percent in the last year throughout the Great River Regional Library (GRRL) system. The Elk River Library is part of the GRRL.

Hollerich was recently hired to replace Mick Stoffers, who retired in 2012 after 27 years with GRRL. He reported that Stoffers recently returned as a branch assistant substitute.

The GRRL system is based in St. Cloud. Other than the headquarters in St. Cloud, the Elk River Library is the largest of the 32 branch libraries in the GRRL system.

Mayor John Dietz asked Hollerich what has been his biggest challenge so far.

Hollerich said it’s learning the way the system works.

“It’s intricate,” he said. “… There’s a lot that goes into keeping a system of almost one million items in order.”