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ACPL Shares 2023 Community Impact Report

(FORT WAYNE, IN) – The Allen County Public Library has released its 2023 Community Impact Report. The report, which utilizes data from the Library’s annual report to the Indiana State Library, reflects how the library system’s services and collection contributed to the education, literacy, access, and discovery in Allen County over the past year. 

 

In 2023, the ACPL welcomed more than 1.8 million visitors across its 14 locations. Borrowing was up as well with a nearly 5% increase over 2022 for a total of 4.28 million items borrowed. Among these were 1.5 million children’s items. Library programming continued to see growth by offering more than 6,000 in-person programs that served 122,000 people. This is a nearly 29% increase over 2022. This is even more impressive given that 2022 was a 62% increase over 2021.

 

“There is no denying that Allen County deeply values its library facilities, staff expertise, and extensive collection of books and materials,” said ACPL Executive Director Susan P. Baier. “We continue to be a critical place where this community gathers, learns, and connects with each other.”

 

Along with increased circulation of digital and traditional materials, the Library’s Special Collections also experienced consistent growth including nearly 22,000 visits to the Rolland Center for Lincoln Research and the addition of more than 2,400 items to the Community Album which aims to preserve and present local history. Among these items was the addition of The United Hispanic American, Inc. Collection, the first Community Album collection dedicated to local Latine photos, articles, and stories.

 

“Many people in our community are aware of the Genealogy Center and the international reach it enjoys, but we are excited to see continued engagement with all of our Special Collections,” said Director of Special Collections Curt Witcher. “These collections are unique to our library and reinforce our role as the community’s trusted source of accurate information, powerful stories, and shared history.”

 

The Library also put considerable effort into increasing access to information beyond the physical spaces of the library. The Audio Reading Service produced more than 8,700 hours of audio programming for persons who have challenges reading print, while Access Fort Wayne and WELT Radio produced 4,800+ programs with community producers.

 

According to Baier, the Library is focused on ensuring that every person in the community is impacted by ACPL’s work. “Every day we strive to find ways to best serve our longstanding patrons, while engaging new audiences, because we believe the citizens of Allen County deserve a robust, world-class library experience. I see it in action every day with our patrons and staff, but the Community Impact Report gives us a moment to celebrate the true reach of our work!” said Baier.

 

The annual Community Impact Report can be read in its entirety at www.acpl.lib.in.us/impact. The report arrives just in time for the 2024 National Library Week which kicks off April 7. The week is dedicated to celebrating libraries, librarians, and library workers.


About the Allen County Public Library

The Allen County Public Library (ACPL) has fostered lifelong learning and discovery in northeast Indiana for more than 125 years. The ACPL consists of fourteen branches throughout Allen County, serving more than one million visitors per year. The ACPL’s collection includes more than 2.7 million items, with a circulation total of 4.2 million items borrowed annually. It also houses The Genealogy Center, the nation’s largest public genealogy research center, and The Rolland Center for Lincoln Research, consisting of more than 30,000 artifacts related to President Abraham Lincoln.

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