More than half a million items were borrowed from Bundaberg Regional Libraries during 2021 with a high number of customers also walking through the doors.
Libraries and book clubs around the world have seen a massive increase in reading and borrowing since Covid-19.
The local community has followed suit, and taking in a good book has been high on the list of things for people to do during quieter times.
The number of items borrowed from Bundaberg Regional Libraries during 2021 was 508,935 physical items, 79,269 electronic items and 16,524 database downloads/retrievals.
A total of 173,297 visitors walked through the doors.
Mysteries and thrillers were the most popular genre of books borrowed during the year, with the top dozen all belonging within this theme.
The most borrowed author was Lee Child whose book The Sentinel was borrowed 317 times, followed by The Night Fire by Michael Connelly which had 277 loans, and coming in third was John Grisham's novel A Time for Mercy with 261 loans.
Bundaberg Regional Council Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said libraries provided a number of fantastic services to local communities, and it was no wonder they had such a high volume of visitors.
“There has never been a better time to pick up a good book than the past year,” Cr Learmonth said.
“To have more than half a million items borrowed during 2021 is fantastic!”
Cr Learmonth said the weekly book review, provided by library staff through Bundaberg Now, had been a great way for community members to find the next story to take their interest.
“From graphic novels through to adult fiction, library staff have provided comprehensive reviews of a variety of books to assist the community in finding the next favourite story,” Cr Learmonth said.
Late last year the Bundaberg Regional Libraries app was released to allow members access to their account and eService platforms, as well as the option to search the entire catalogue available at Bundaberg Library, Childers Library, Gin Gin Library or Woodgate Library.
Cr Learmonth said the app was another service to help library members stay connected.
“Our libraries are incredibly popular both for the extensive resources available for loan and the range of programs, activities and workshops on offer,” Cr Learmonth said.
“The Bundaberg Regional Libraries app is just another platform to access this terrific service and get the most out of these community facilities.”