Each hour daily, the staff of the library performs a "body count" to gauge how many people are in the library. Such counts allow the librarian to see the frequency of use of the library. For example, after the Chemistry Library moved from the second floor to 170 Noyes Lab in the fall of 2006, the number of patrons more than tripled. You can see older statistics for the second floor location, and the jump in visits in 2006, at our archived pages: Body Count 2001-2007 and In Person Summary 2001-2006.
In 170 Noyes Lab, the staff now also keeps a gate count that tracks all foot traffic into the library. With these numbers, the librarian gets a fuller sense of the total patrons served by the library.
Hourly Body Counts
The charts below capture the average number of patrons by the hour of day for the previous semesters. On some days during the fall and spring semesters, the library has as many as 50-60 visitors!
The most recent head counts, from Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, are up from previous years. This change is likely due in part to the closing of the nearby Biology Library in Summer 2011. The rise in visitors to the library can also be seen below in "Total Gate Counts by Semester."
Total Gate Count by Month
The chart below shows the total traffic into the library by month. This display reveals the yearly library cycle, which reflects University campus life. Fall 2009 was an exceptionally busy semester at the Chemistry Library, as shown the the "Total Gate Count by Semester" below. Counts were up again much of Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, probably due to the closing of the nearby Biology Library in Summer 2011.
Total Gate Count by Semester
This last chart shows the total patrons in the library each semester since Spring 2009. The spike in Fall 2009 was due to a combination of relatively high use of the conference room and regular special use of the library made by a large chemistry course that semester. The rise in Fall 2011 is believed to be in part due to the closing of the nearby Biology Library in Summer 2011, making the Chemistry Library the destination for more students looking for a place to study in the area.