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Top 5 Reasons Libraries Invest in Patron Counting Sensors

February 28, 2022

Patron counting sensors track and count every person entering the library, regardless of what materials or activities they’re after. The data paints a full picture of your library’s usage.

Gone are the days relying on a circulation system for your library’s usage metrics. Guests visit a library for a slew of reasons aside from checking-out materials, such as accessing computer labs, attending story hour, meeting in study rooms, and even attending community events.

Let’s take a closer look at the top five reasons libraries invest in patron counting sensors.

how patron counting sensors help fund libraries

Funding

Reporting patron count statistics is a vital step in receiving government funding.

An automated patron counting system replaces the need for staff to manually count patrons and log the data in a spreadsheet, freeing their time for more valuable tasks and providing you with more accurate and complete foot traffic data.

The sensors push data to Vea Analytics Platform so you can quickly and easily export reports for funding and grant proposals.

Staffing

While staff is the lifeblood of the library, they are also one of the most expensive operating costs. Especially in these changing times, a pulse must be kept on the ebb and flow of patron traffic to align staff levels accordingly.

After a few weeks of collecting traffic data, Vea’s predictive traffic feature will begin calculating accurate predictions of future traffic levels. This data can be used to schedule staff to meet the peak traffic and taper schedules for slower times. With a few staff allocation adjustments, you can save money while still maintaining great guest experience.

use patron counting sensors for efficient staff scheduling

Performance Comparisons for Library Systems

Library branches within a system naturally share resources such as IT services, subscriptions, and funding.

Make the most informed decisions on how to allocate resources by analyzing and comparing traffic data.

Vea makes these easy with drag and drop dashboards for a side-by-side view of branch performance.

Campaigns & Events

Libraries are always coming up with clever ways to engage the community and spark interest in visiting.

But how can you tell if your campaign was a success?

Using Vea, simply compare average traffic to the event’s traffic to see how many more people visited.

Armed with traffic data, you can begin to place quantitative goals on events, such as to increase traffic by 20%.

library patron counting

Occupancy

Monitoring occupancy is one of the newest metrics libraries are gaining from their patron counting sensors.

By installing sensors over each entrance to the library, Vea will calculate the ins and outs in real-time to determine current occupancy status.

This was a popular tool during the pandemic when capacity restrictions were in place. Libraries could simply display current occupancy on a monitor at the entrance with a max capacity set to communicate to patrons whether they could enter the library or wait.

Even now without capacity mandates, libraries, especially high-trafficked ones, continue to find benefit in monitoring occupancy. It puts patrons at ease knowing the library won’t be over-crowded.

In addition to the library as a whole, sensors can be used within the library to monitor the occupancy of meeting rooms and shared spaces. This is particularly useful in the university library setting, where study room occupancy can be shared on your website and students can easily see when a room is available.

If you’d like to learn more about how patron counting sensors work or to discuss your unique application, join us for a live web demo!