Jake Epp Library has gathered their statistics from 2022, and some of these numbers are incredibly high.
They added 6,532 books to the library in 2022. That means they bought 18 books a day on average last year.
The librarians are always looking for requests and suggestions on new books they should add to the collection.
They currently have a total of 81,545 books at the library.
Most books signed out under one card
3,978 cardholders checked out books in 2022.
The most books signed out or renewed under one card was over 16,679, which averages out to 46 books per day.
Head Librarian, Chrystie Kroeker Boggs, guesses the cardholder is likely a homeschool teacher.
“I could not believe they had over 16,000 sign-outs and renewals,” she says. “We serve a lot of homeschool families, some of whom have quite a few children, so that would be my guess.”
The library had quite a busy year, as they had a total of 245,519 checkouts and renewals in 2022.
The author with the most books in the library
The author with the most books in Jake Epp Library is Carolyn Keene.
Carolyn Keene narrowly beat runner-up James Patterson, 349 to 346.
"Carolyn Keene: our Nancy Drew writer. And those still fly off the shelves, they get taken out so much. I feel like I've read every single one of them.”
Boggs says the library constantly replaces their Nancy Drew books, as the covers get redone to appeal to their target audience.
“Would a 12-year-old take out a book that looks like it was published in the 60s? No. But now that same book has a new cover.”
She says she loves looking at the book covers throughout the library.
"I am one of those that judges a book by its cover and is not ashamed to admit that, and some of the covers that are coming out now are just beautiful,” she says. “There are also interactive covers now, so if you have the app on your phone you can make them come to life. We have some on display here and they are amazing.”
The top five books signed out this year
#5. The Ninth Garfield Treasury by Jim Davis
The Ninth Garfield Treasury is a thick book full of Garfield comics.
Boggs says it's been in the top five for decades, and last year this book was placed #1.
"Last year, still pandemic time, people needed an escape. People needed some humor in their lives, and so Garfield seemed to fit the bill.”
#4. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Reid
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is about Hollywood legend Evelyn, who chooses an unknown reporter, Monique Grant, to tell her life story. Evelyn looks back on her time in Hollywood, her rise to fame, and her seven marriages.
#3. Verity by Colleen Hoover
Verity is about Lowen, a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin, who accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Colleen Hoover has been writing books for a while, but has gotten explosively popular in the last year.
#2. Midnight Library by Matt Haig
After death, Nora ends up in the midnight library, a place of limbo where she is given the opportunity to experience all the other lives she could have lived if she had made different choices. Through her many lives, she journeys to rekindle her will to live.
#1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing is a coming-of-age murder mystery novel. The story follows two timelines that come together.
The first timeline is about a girl named Kya who is isolated in the marshes of North Carolina.
The second follows an investigation into the apparent murder of local celebrity Chase Andrews.
Boggs notes their most popular adult nonfiction genre is Home Economics and Family Living.
And in that collection, Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines is the most signed out.
Boggs says they also got rid of some nonfiction books throughout the year.
They don’t want to have books in the library that are outdated or have incorrect information.
“We got rid of the space books that included references to Pluto, and some of the technology books that told you how to use a dot matrix printer.”
They also want to make sure that their medical books are up to date.
“The last thing that we want is false information in the library because people rely on the library for truthful information. Scientific knowledge is constantly evolving and so we want to make sure that we have accurate information.”
Boggs says the library has fully rebounded from the pandemic, and they have even more patrons using the library now than they did before the pandemic.
“There were many times during the pandemic where I wondered what rebound after the pandemic would look like,” she says. “We didn't know. ‘Will people come back?’ And that has been answered and the answer is yes.”
The Jake Epp Library has more than just books. They take great pride in their programming.
"Our programs fill up within a day of registration, so there's a real desire to be out and about. And then of course, we all pay our $6 for a gallon of milk and are pinching our pennies, and everything that we offer here is free.”
With files from Carly Koop