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Published: Friday, 1/28/2005

Library system enjoys record number of visitors

More people than ever visited the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in 2004, the result of reinstated Sunday hours and additional hours at five branches, library officials said.

The 167-year-old library system recorded 3,524,239 patrons in 2004, an increase of 193,198 over 2003. The previous record was set in 1993.

Patrons in 2004 checked out 6,425,869 materials, the fourth greatest amount in library history and an increase of 125,680 over 2003.

Voters in November, 2003 approved a 1-mill, four-year operating levy that generates $7.8 million annually for the library system. Afterward, the library restored Sunday hours, added hours at five of 18 branches, expanded its materials budget, and hired additional staff.

Approval of the levy was a signal from the community "that they want a strong library," Clyde Scoles, director of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, said in a statement. "They approved the issue and, in 2004, they utilized their library like never before."

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