Snapshot Day Records More Patrons At MRL

More Than 1,300 Visit 7 Locations

Posted: May 7, 2014

Debbie Keagy, Massanutten Regional Library staff member, reads to 1-year-old Madden Montinar (right) and Lucas Weldon (left), 19 months, at a story time program at the library’s main branch in Harrisonburg on Tuesday. (Photos by Holly Marcus / Special to the DN-R)
Library patrons visit MRL’s main branch Tuesday. Each of MRL’s seven branches tracked visitors during Snapshot Virginia days last month.
Anna Bishop holds her grandson Lane Kiser, 20 months, Tuesday at the Massanutten Regional Library. Bishop said they attend the program every week as well as visit the library often to check out books and movies.



HARRISONBURG — More than 1,300 people visited the seven branches of the Massanutten Regional Library during Snapshot Virginia days this year, which is up from last year.

Each of the seven libraries documented the number of patrons and their reasons for visiting the libraries, such as for computer usage, during a different day last month. That’s part of the reason this year’s numbers are up: Previously, all libraries in the system had to take count on the same day, which meant at least one library would be closed, according to Cheryl Griffith, community relations manager for MRL.

Griffith says the numbers prove the importance of libraries.

“I think technology is changing things, but I don’t think one should think that libraries are being dinosaurs, that they aren’t being used,” she said.

MRL offers more than just books for its patrons, in spite of being one of the lowest-funded systems in the state. In April, events included assistance with tax preparation and job resumes, knitting lessons and professional storytellers.

In the past year, there were more than 46,000 sessions on the system’s 46 computers.

The system serves nearly 150,000 people yet ranks 86th out of 91 Virginia library systems for funding. While the average per capita funding is $31.44 statewide, MRL’s budget is $13.46 per person. MRL is funded by the state and local governments.

Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or

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