Project seeks library snapshots

Published 11:03 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

Smile! You could be on camera if you visit the library on Tuesday.

April 17 is Snapshot Day in Suffolk’s public libraries. It is part of Snapshot Virginia, a project of the Library of Virginia and the Virginia Library Association.

The project aims to collect a one-day “snapshot” of information on how patrons are using their library. Library systems throughout Virginia will participate on their chosen day in April.


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“We’ve done it in the past, and it’s a great day for us because it allows us to see what we’re doing well but also hear suggestions and comments,” said Julie Darnell, branch manager at the North Suffolk Library. “It also allows us to highlight or programs and let people know what the library offers them as well.”

The Suffolk libraries chose April 17 because there is regular children’s programming going on that day, as well as a steel drum program at the North Suffolk Library at 6:30 p.m.

Library employees will collect data such as how many people visit the library, use computers and attend programs. They also will collect patron comments and, with the patrons’ permission, photographs of people using the library.

The Suffolk libraries and the Library of Virginia will use the photos for publicity about libraries.

“People tell us what they appreciate the library for,” Darnell said. “They enjoy the special programs we offer. Some people say it’s the only way they can afford their reading material. We’re hearing more from people who are using us for employment assistance or filling out their résumés or using the computers to do their job search. It kind of helps us feel exactly where the community is and how they’re using our services.”

To find out more about the project, visit