Emmanuel Christian Seminary became part of Milligan College on July 1, 2015. Since that time, Milligan Libraries has existed as one library in two locations — the Welshimer Library at the center of campus, and the Seminary Library in west wing of the B.D. Phillips Building on Emmanuel Hill.
As locations for physical book and media collections, Welshimer Library houses the bulk of resources to support the College’s undergraduate and professional graduate degree programs, while the Seminary Library primarily houses a theological collection supporting the Seminary’s graduate programs (and the undergraduate Bible and Ministry program). This collections perspective might seem to guide students and faculty in their choice of a “home” library location. But these days libraries are more than collections. Milligan Libraries also strongly promotes a spaces and services perspective in which either library location is a welcoming “home” for all Milligan students and faculty to use for study and learning. This has become especially true at the Seminary Library, where in addition to the Seminary, the B.D. Phillips Building hosts the undergraduate Engineering program, and the graduate Occupational Therapy and Physician Assistant programs.
Like most libraries, Milligan Libraries tracks space usage at its two locations. But instead of counting people as they enter the library (called a gate count) we developed a metric called the hour-visit. The hour-visit is a headcount of every person in the library each hour that it is open during the day. The advantage of this way of counting is that it enables us to track not only when, but also where (which floor) and for how long the library is used with each visit. For example, when a student enters the library, a gate count would log 1 visit at entry. But that student may be in the library studying for 3 hours. The headcount approach would log 3 hour-visits for this student. Additionally, when correlated with Milligan College enrollment headcounts, we can track average per student usage of the Library over the course of the semester.
New Semester Headcount Records Set
Fall Semester 2019 concluded with Commencement Service on Friday evening, December 13. Earlier in the day we collated the library usage statistics for the semester, discovering we had set several new records.
Welshimer Library had 38,080 hour-visits (+6.1% over Fall 2018). The previous record of 37,002 hour-visits was set Fall 2013.
Seminary Library broke 10,000 hour-visits with 10,589 (+27.4% over Fall 2018). The previous record of 9,513 hour-visits was set Spring 2019.
Milligan Libraries’ combined usage for Fall 2019 was 48,669 hour-visits. When correlated with Fall 2019 College enrollment headcount of 1,335, this works out to a per student library use of 36.5 hours over the course of the semester. Also a new record.
For some historical perspective, Fall 2016 was the first full semester after Emmanuel Christian Seminary became a part of Milligan College. This was also the first semester we began tracking usage at the Seminary Library. In Fall 2016, Welshimer Library had 30,716 hour-visits and the Seminary Library had 4,518 hour-visits, for a Milligan Libraries total of 35,234 hour-visits. Milligan College enrollment headcounts in Fall 2016 was 1,213, which worked out to a per student library use of 29.0 hours. Compared to four years ago, Milligan Libraries’ combined hourly usage has increased 38.1%, and the per student semester usage has increased 25.9%!
These statistics suggest Milligan Libraries is providing spaces conducive to study for the Milligan College learning community. We are pleased to be of service!