Huge increases in digital database usage show residents have been getting reacquainted with the Pima County Public Library during the coronavirus pandemic.
Holly Schaffer, the community relations manager for the county's library system, said the library's online databases has seen dramatic increases during shutdowns, with much of the growth in newer services.
The most significant increase was a 6,433 percent jump in usage for the IndieFlix database in March compared to the same period in 2019. IndieFlix gives users access to independent films, documentaries and classic movies and TV through streaming.
There have also been increases in British content database Acorn, which jumped 334 percent in April when compared to the same time in 2019.
•Qello – a concert, music and music documentary database – had a 251 percent increase in March compared to 2019.
•Kanopy – an international and independent film, documentary and educational database – increased 181 percent in April compared to 2019.
•RomanceBookCloud increased 600 percent in March compared to 2019.
•Teen Book Cloud increased 245 percent from February to March.
"They are incredibly impressive for some of our digital resources and entertainment," Schaffer said.
Schaffer doesn't anticipate a substantial drop-off as people begin to venture out again.
"Keeping people in the loop via email and advertising, these are all things that we do, and I think that keeps the momentum going," she said. "Now that people have done it and know how easy it is, they'll want to recommend it to a friend and tell other people about it."
She said the library revamped the website to feature all the digital content available to cardholders during the shutdown.
"That's been something, I think, that people have been seeing and maybe we'll consider doing that more even when the stay-at-home order is lifted," she said.
More traditional online databases for books had increased usage as well.
Shaffer attributed the smaller increases in the online book databases to already being well known and having an established base of users.
"I don't think people realized you could watch live concerts or British TV or listen to music, get magazines and comic books," she said. "I think maybe the assumption is, 'Oh, I can get an e-book or audiobook, but that's not really for me.' But you have a music lover who discovers Freegal (music), and they're going to come back and see what else we have."