Statement Regarding Library Visits

There has been a lot of conversation regarding the annual visitor/door count number collected by the Goffstown Public Library and stated at the town deliberative session. There has been a call to collect the number of unique visitors instead, and that to do otherwise is misleading and lying to the community.

I responded to comments truthfully and factually. We gather and report statistics as required:

  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), an agency of the federal government, collects public library data nationally every year. As part of this process, the IMLS requires the NH State Library to collect the same data from all public libraries in NH that is being collected in every other state. They use this data to better understand library programs and services, and to see how our libraries compare to those in other states.
  • All public libraries in the US are required to report data in the same way so that the numbers are meaningful and comparable.
  • The specific wording that the IMLS uses to explain this item (door count and number of visitors) is as follows: “This is the total number of persons entering the library for whatever purpose during the year.”

As Library Director, I will continue to gather and report numbers as required by IMLS and NH state law: RSA 202-A:12 (g). Please address further questions and comments to

~ Dianne Hathaway, Library Director