2021 Stats:

64,620 “borrows” (books, DVDs audiobooks, magazines, hotspots & other items)

1,071 library cards issued

54,860 number of internet “sessions” (patrons using public internet access PCs)

182,635 website visits to sanlib.org

16,865 photobooth photos taken

18,376 self checks outs

Library staff answer 2,606 reference questions in 2021. Many questions involved use of Library apps, patrons needing help accessing their Library account, and archive inquiries.

Sanibel Public Library most popular Mango language lessons are: Italian, French, Japanese, Spanish, Hebrew, Norwegian, German, and Haitian Creole.

Sanibel was ranked top in Florida including: number one per capita (per 1,000) for: circulation (number of books or items borrowed), availability of print, audio, video, and other material to check out, website visits per capita, and square footage availability. Sanibel Public Library has been at or near the top ranking for about 15 years. It has also won national Star Library Awards (top 200 public libraries of 9,000 measured nationally) in five of the last 10 years. The 2021 ratings are based on FY 2019-20 Florida Library Statistics, which measures 82 libraries/library systems in the state, grouped by population.

SPL continued the contactless curbside pickup service until October 2021, curbside was introduced in 2020 due to the pandemic.

New initiatives: 

In 2021 Library staff rolled out; concierge service (a reading matchmaker service), teen gaming area, online digital archives, the Infinity Game Table, and now loans video games and birdwatching kits.

-Increased the amount of eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, eMagazines;
-Additional mobile wifi hotspots for checkout;
-Offered online virtual storytimes for children and webinars for adults, including the popular history programs as well as tips for using technology at home;
-Added the Computer Coach service to help users with tech questions.

Many of these services were developed by the Sanibel Public Library with grants and gifts from the Sanibel Public Library Foundation and its generous donors.

The Library installed an outdoor bench and planters in the plaza area in honor of artist Ann Bischoff. The bench was donated by the Sanibel Captiva Art League and Ann Bischoff’s family, in her memory.

Sanibel Public Library’s children’s area added Launchpad learning tablets for children, provided in part, by a gift from Hans and Leslie Fleischner.

Popular in 2021:

Combining print, audiobooks and Libby eBooks, the top authors borrowed by Sanibel patrons in 2021 were: John Grisham, James Patterson, David Baldacci, Stuart Woods, Michael Connelly, Danielle Steele, JoJo Moyes, John Sandford, JD Robb, and Daniel Silva.

Popular 2021 fiction (print books) includes American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand, and Fair Warning by Michael Connelly.

Bill Bryson’s The Body was head and shoulders above the rest of nonfiction – for most-borrowed … keeping its place at the top for another year. Nomadland the book, as well as the DVD were both very popular with Sanibel Public Library patrons in 2021. Cookbooks and travel guides are always in SPL’s top “most borrowed” in nonfiction. “America’s Test Kitchen” series and specialty cookbooks like The Keto Diet are also popular with patrons.

OverDrive Libby:

Most popular 2021 fiction Libby eBooks were: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie by Marie Benedict, and Win by Harlan Coban.  Most popular nonfiction Libby eBooks include Caste: the Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson, Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta, and Catch & Kill by Ronan Farrow. Most borrowed eMagazines were Soap Opera Digest, Us Weekly, The New Yorker, and The Economist.

Summer Reading Program: 

In 2021, 328 readers earned books (for activities and certain time markers) for themselves and 1,149 books for Golisano Children’s Hospital of SWFL. They logged 133,288 minutes of reading, which equals 2,221.46 hours. Since its inception in 2012, readers have helped to contribute more than 12,000 books to the hospital.

The Sanibel Public Library Foundation, along with the Joan Hunt Cory Children’s Fund, underwrites the annual summer reading program. The Children’s Fund was established in 2008 to honor longtime library volunteer and supporter Joan Hunt Cory.

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