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CanLit, biographies, and picture books top library lending list in Fort St. John

Handmaids, math geniuses, and colourful children topped the Fort St. John Library’s lending list in 2017.

The library’s statistics for the year are full of must-read tidbits on local reading habits and how the library continues to evolve in the digital age.

For instance, children’s picture books were the most borrowed genre, accounting for more than 33,000 of the library’s physical circulations. The number one most borrowed book was Robert Munsch’s Purple, Green and Yellow, a story about a young girl named Brigid on the search for the perfect coloured marker. 

“Our patrons are voracious borrowers of children’s books, often borrowing up to the limit (25) in one visit,” said Kerry France, director of library services, in an email. 

The second most borrowed genre was media, including DVDs and audiobook CDs, with 11,318 circulations. Top of the charts was the CBC family drama TV series Heartland.

Adult fiction was the third most borrowed genre, with 11,255 circulations, and with readers showing a wide interest in new titles, bestsellers, mysteries, and legal dramas, said France. Topping that list was Margaret Atwood’s classic The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopian novel about reproductive slavery set in a totalitarian United States, and has recently been adapted into a TV series.

Adult non-fiction was the fourth most borrowed genre at more than 10,000 circulations, with readers searching out self-help, cooking, and parenting books, as well as biographies. Topping the lending list was Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, a biography about the achievements and contributions of African American female mathematicians at the NASA space agency.

Meanwhile, library memberships were up two per cent to 1,083, but visits were down seven per cent to 82,812 in 2017. The library is still calculating its programming stats, but preliminary numbers show a 15 per cent increase from 8,215 attendees in 2016, France said.

“As a trend, we generally see…

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