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Newmarket Library adds more than 5,000 members in 2023

Library also expanding its reach by offering programs in other areas of town, like parks, mall, community centres, CEO says
Nemarket Public Library CEO Tracy Munusami presents to council April 8.

The Newmarket Public Library is seeing continued growth with 5,357 new members added in 2023 and an increase of more than 20,000 in-person visits.

The library completed its annual report to the community, highlighting efforts in the past year to expand services and do more outreach in the community. The annual statistics included 159,913 in-person visits, 460,195 books lent out, and 2,205 items borrowed from its Lendery.

CEO Tracy Munusami said the library made a concerted effort to get into different places in the community through efforts like storywalks and offering more technology. 

“While our foundation is still rooted in books with our robust collection, we evolved into something greater. At the heart of our community, we offer a myriad of programs and services,” she said in a presentation to Town of Newmarket council April 8.

The library has focused on getting beyond its physical space downtown on Park Avenue, near Main Street. Its 2022 strategic plan made that a point of focus. 

Munusami said the library has run programs at public parks, Upper Canada Mall, community centres, the Newmarket Seniors Meeting Place and Old Town Hall.

“We endeavour to bring the magic of the library to where people naturally gather,” Munusami said.

Council members praised the library’s efforts over the past couple of years.

Councillor Christina Bisanz said it could be good for the library to collect more data as far as where users of the library are coming from, potentially targeting wards where people are not accessing programs as much. 

“The services the library provides are exciting,” she said. “It might just be worth looking into and doing a bit of geographic assessment and putting a little bit more emphasis in some areas.” 

Munusami said the library will continue to expand its horizons plus work to make its collections more diverse and embrace inclusivity.

Library board chair Darryl Gray said outreach is at the library's core.

“We have a fairly constrained place in the downtown area,” he said. “But a library isn’t about just books. It’s about ideas and sharing ideas, coming together.”