Guide to Library People Counter Systems
At your library, you serve patrons by providing the programming, resources and space people need to work, learn, have fun and build a community. A library is a valuable space in the community. Patrons without technology at home can use the computers and digital media in your facility that they might otherwise not be able to afford or access. Public, school and university libraries can offer a learning space for people of all backgrounds and ages.
If you want to serve your patrons as effectively as possible, you should understand how they use your facility’s services and how you can optimize your operations.
What Is a Library Counter?
A library counter, or people counter, is an electronic device that counts how many individuals pass through a certain space, such as a library entrance. Our VisiCount software at Traf-Sys separates the numbers by time and entrance, adding other variables like staffing hours, weather conditions and daily special events. The technology used in these counters varies from simple light beams to more complex sensors and cameras.
One of the greatest challenges across industries is measuring how many guests or customers enter a facility during the day. In the retail sector, for example, a store may want to track how many customers enter. At Traf-Sys, we provide our people counting system to several industries and businesses, including:
- Retail stores
- Shopping malls
- Student unions
- Visitors centers
- Public sector facilities
Why Do Libraries Need People Counters?
Many statistics are available about the usage of libraries, but there is little information on how many people actually use the facilities. Since many library resources are digital now and people use them within the facility without checking them out, it can be challenging to determine how many visitors use these resources. This is where library people counters come in.
A people counter gives your library a way to track who enters and exits the building, allowing your library to keep records and use hard facts to request additional technology. Here are some of the reasons why a people counting system is essential for libraries:
- You can make more informed business decisions: Door counters can allow you to track which entrances and rooms patrons use most and at which times so you can better allocate resources and make informed decisions.
- You can keep your library in compliance: As needed, you need to report statistics to the state and operate within budget restrictions. A people counting solution allows you to gather the necessary information and use this data to show you comply with the state’s standards.
- You can better make your case for funding: Budget cuts can lead to reductions in operating hours and staffing, making it difficult for libraries to continue serving the community. With data from a people counter, you can prove your library needs more staff, services, technology or increased hours of operation to serve the people using it properly.
This guide will help you understand how implementing a people counting system can help your library and how you can best leverage the data from this system. You will also learn more about:
- Using people counters in libraries
- The modern library
- Data collection for libraries
- Solving staffing problems
- Building a better budget for your library