Which is Iowa’s busiest library? That depends. Assistant state librarian Mary Wegner says the library’s now a media center, with books on tape, your favorite music, and computers for those who don’t have one at home. She says that’s leveling the playing field, making computing accessible to all Iowans. People call for information 6-thousand, 436 times in the average week at Des Moines, though reference librarians are also busiest in Sioux City, Davenport, Waterloo and Ames. Sioux City leads in users of electronic resources, Des Moines has the biggest circulation…a million a half books checked out each year. One measure of the busiest library in the state might be the ratio of books checked out to total residents in a town. By that measure, Lynnville public library circulates 103 items per capita, followed by Churdan, Little Rock, North Liberty. and Union. Assistant state librarian Mary Wegner says research done for the Iowa Library Association finds that says 71 percent of Iowans use the library at least once a year. And 90-percent plan to go as often, or more, in the coming year. She adds libraries aren’t just for books any more, and Sioux City’s the busiest library in the state for users of electronic services like computers. Wegner says Iowans are still checking out books just as they did before the Internet, e- mail and cable TV offered other diversions.She says libraries have more than facts: they teach you how to find and evaluate information.
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