McIntyre Library announces the top checked out books of 2019

Data shows interest in childrens’ literature


Photo by Alee Erickson

It is common for children’s books, such as “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, to be checked out from the McIntyre Library.

As the spring semester commences, the McIntyre Library staff at UW-Eau Claire reflect on the year of 2019 through the most checked out books by the community.

Jill Markgraf, the McIntyre Library director, said the university catalogs allow the staff to compare top circulating materials from this year with previous years.

“Our library system allows us to run a lot of different reports,” Markgraf said. “One of these reports is the number of checkouts.”

Markgraf said she notices a pattern of childrens’ literature rise to the top of the list, as students check those novels out the most.

“We have a pretty strong children’s book collection in the UW System and (McIntyre Library) shares our collections pretty well within the UW System,” Markgraf said. “The childrens’ books are in some ways easier to understand, and a lot of those checkouts are driven by the (university) curriculum.”

Olivea Boyer, a third-year social work student, said she utilizes the McIntyre Library space and enjoys the variety of both social and educational resources it provides.

“A lot of students use (the library) as a common meeting space for both class and socializing,” Boyer said. “I also think people use it as a resource for research, but also leisure reading.”

During the fall semester of 2019, McIntyre Library implemented the new “Popular Reading Center.”

Markgraf said the library staff continues to implement requests from students and incorporate feedback. 

“We recognize academic libraries don’t lend themselves to browsing in quite the same way that a public library does, especially for leisure reading,” Markgraf said. “We thought to pull some of those titles out and create a separate area where people can come and browse.” 

Boyer said she has grown to appreciate the value of literature and to allow extra time for it, on top of a university workload.

“I think it is incredibly important for students to have access to knowledge from all sorts of sources, particularly literature and not just academic literature, as well,” Boyer said.

Markgraf said she was delighted to see “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” make the list of top checked out books because it reminds her of fond memories shared with her daughter. 

“(The book) still makes me giggle,” Markgraf said. “It reminded me that even though my kids are grown, I need to go down to the collection, pick up a children’s book and read one.”

Boyer said she has taken away valuable experiences as she continues to utilize the library on campus. She encourages others to learn to appreciate the value of reading throughout the rest of the semester.

“People should read and take advantage of the library, because not everybody has access to literature knowledge or information,” Boyer said. 

Markgraf said she hopes the new improvements throughout 2020 add to the engagement the university has with McIntyre Library and the value of literature.

“We have so much here, but sometimes in our dark stacks, it’s hard to find,” Markgraf said. “It is fun for our library staff to put those (lists) together and it is just fun to promote and celebrate our collections in a different way.”

For more information on the university book collections, visit the McIntyre Library on the UW-Eau Claire lower campus.

Nelson can be reached at [email protected].