Library's summer reading program grows

LAWRENCEVILLE — The Gwinnett County Public Library system’s summer reading program has grown exponentially over the past three years, with another huge jump in completions this past summer, officials said at the organization’s Board of Trustees meeting Monday.

Registrations reached a total of 36,850, a rise of more than 1,000 from the summer of 2009. The most dramatic jump percentage-wise, however, was in actual registered completions of the program.

Library officials reported that 5,217 completions were logged, compared to just shy of 4,000 last year.

Overall program attendance was also up to 23,392, an increase of more than 3,000 from 2009.

“Summer reading is so important to the development of any student,” executive director Nancy Stanbery-Kellam said.

The leap in teen participation has been “particularly incredible,” Stanbery-Kellam said. Over the past three years, participation in the teen program has grown from 1,274 students to 5,200 this summer, she said.

Other highlights from the fiscal year 2010 summary of accomplishments:

• Volunteer hours increased 25 percent.

• Circulation per hour was up to 2,933, as compared to 2,124 in the 2009 fiscal year, indicating that “the public successfully adjusted to the new hours of operation.”

• Through various system-wide green initiatives, the library system realized a 2.5 percent decrease in electricity costs.

• The library system secured nine grants from state, federal and local business sources.