The Libraries of Polk County

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The topic of this paper will be taking an in-depth look at the statistics of the four major libraries within Polk County and focus primarily on children’s and young adults departments. The four major cities are Ankeny, Des Moines, Urbandale, and West Des Moines. Each of these cities has a population of over 35,000. Polk County is the largest county within Iowa and is also home to the capital, Des Moines. ( Below is a map of Polk County that depicts the location of each city that is going to be discussed within this report.
Within the past 10 years the population of Ankeny, Iowa has increased drastically. The population of Ankeny at the conclusion of the 2000 census was 27,117. When the census was conducted in 2010, the population was 45,582. This is an increase of 18,435 people within a 10 year period, which is a 68% increase. During this time period the library has continued to grow to account for the population explosion. In 2002 the number of children’s item within circulation was 106,701. To keep up with the increase in population the number of children’s items within increased to 196,374. During this time the attendance for the children’s program also increased from 10,481 in 2002 to 34,372 in 2012. In 2009 the attendance for the Young Adult program was official counted and used. Information about the Young Adult program prior to 2009 is unavailable. In 2009 the attendance for all young adults program was 1291, but fell drastically over the years to finish 2012 at only 510. This is a reduction of over 150%. However the number of young adult items within circulation rose from 16,741 in 2007 to 21,514 in 2012. The chart labeled “Ankeny Children’s Department” sho...

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...n, this is an exciting time within Polk County. The cities of the county are experiencing tremendous population growth. The libraries need to capitalize on this record growth with the cities and with the county. Unfortunately within the past five years, this has not been the case. Ankeny, Urbandale and West Des Moines have seen declines in the number of attendee’s for the young adults program. While Ankeny, Des Moines, and Urbandale have seen increases in the number of attendees for their children’s program. With this much growth, there are a few changes that need to be made in order to better serve the community and to unite the people of Polk County. A monthly or bi-monthly community program might just be the ticket to increasing attendance numbers and serving the community at large. I am excited and enlightened about the growth and changes coming to Polk County.

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