How People Counting Can Transform Libraries – An In-Depth Analysis

December 12, 2023

Can libraries survive the age of downloads, ebooks, and easy online shopping? Yes, the ones embracing technology continue to be vital community institutions and evolve.

People borrow fewer books as the years go by, but libraries are more popular than ever despite this fact. According to Words Rated’s study, in the US, physical books and other items accounted for less than 40 percent of libraries. However, this doesn’t mean “libraries are dying,” as many would have you believe; they are just embracing digitalization. In fact, higher education professionals, students, publishers, and government researchers still regularly visit these institutions. 

More importantly, libraries are evolving into community hotspots. They also provide people with free internet access and offer a range of digital resources, such as e-books and audiobooks. They also play a vital role in helping bridge the digital divide. Yet, it’s quite challenging for libraries to maintain their traditional values and community-centric focus in this age. So, what can a manager do to ensure they stay relevant and their library survives? Well, if you’re a decision-maker of a library, you can start exploring how you can use advancements in technology to your benefit. 

For instance, Imagine having access to accurate, real-time insights about how members and other visitors are utilizing your library. Building historical visitor data would allow you to enhance operational efficiency, reduce unnecessary costs, improve foot traffic, and demonstrate your library’s value to stakeholders and funders. You can also discover your visitors’ demographics, which zones in your library are more popular, and more. The possibilities that people counting technology brings to your fingertips are endless.  A modern, reliable, and highly accurate people counting system can help turn your library into a dynamic and responsive institution that caters to the changing needs of your patrons.  

Let’s dig deeper and uncover how people counting can transform your library for the better.

Staff Allocation and Resource Management

A modern visitor tracking system that’s powered by 3D Active Stereo Vision technology will get you up to 99.9% accurate footfall data, even under tough weather conditions or even when it’s completely dark. Hence, employing an accurate system will let you know how many people enter and exit your library at any given specific time period. It can also provide you with live occupancy monitoring, enabling you to follow the government’s health guidelines and improve safety at your establishment. 

Why does knowing the number of people visiting your library important for staff allocation and resource management? It’s quite obvious, isn’t it? Understanding peak library usage times and identifying busy periods allows you to optimize staff schedules, reduce wait times for visitors, and ensure that your library delivers great experiences for your patrons.

You can also properly and efficiently allocate resources when you build historical data and gain an in-depth understanding in regards to visitor traffic and engagement levels. Perhaps, one of your entrances is rarely ever used, but you’re using your valuable resources and labor force to maintain that entry point. The power of visitor data can easily reduce costs and improve the guest experience. 

Accurate visitor data will also help you identify trends and patron preferences, giving you a chance to tailor library services to match the demands of your community and even organize community events that will drive more people and become members.

Space Planning and Visitor Flow

Most libraries have limited space; therefore, it is essential to optimize the use of available areas. Using visitor analytics tools can help you strategically organize the library layout. Arranging furniture, shelving, study areas, community meeting spots, and event locations through accurate visitor data will improve visitor flow and increase foot traffic. It will also help you maximize the library’s capacity and accommodate the needs of patrons.

Knowing and understanding visitor flow empowers your decision-making as well. If your people counting sensor is capable of in-depth visitor analytics, you can identify bottlenecks and congestion points at your library and come up with ways to eliminate such issues. Having this power in the palm of your hand can help you build a more intuitive and user-friendly environment for your patrons.

On top of that, combining zone analytics solutions with demographic-based solutions can help you promote the right event to the right audience and improve both engagement and attendance levels. You can use your library’s visitor data to get new funding or support from other helpful organizations.

Enhance Your Delivery System

Using zone analytics and discovering visitor flow patterns can help libraries optimize their service delivery and find the ideal places where self-checkout stations or additional staff members should be located.

Strategically placing team members or self-checkout kiosks will allow you to get ahead of overcrowding in certain areas of the library and improve your service quality. Improved response time and visitor experience will lead to higher satisfaction, and patrons are more likely to return to borrow other books (or other resources) in person. 

Additionally, you can also launch an online reservation system for popular days and prime hours or when you have scarce resources. This, too, will eliminate congestion and increase satisfaction at your establishment.

Strategic Collection Placement

Gaining insights into the patrons’ behavior, preferences, and patterns can greatly assist the development of a library’s collection. Librarians can determine which sections of the establishment are more favored or which genres are more appealing among certain groups of patrons by closely tracking and analyzing visitor data.

Analyzing visitor flow across each section of your library can also reveal where to place which collection for the most visibility and engagement. After digging deep and segmenting your patrons into groups based on their demographics and preferences, this should be a walk in the park. Just analyze the data you’ve collected so far, find out which group tends to frequent which specific zones, and curate collections to drive more engagement.

Of course, you can use this invaluable information to purchase books, digital content, and other items that suit your visitor base and enrich the library’s collection. This will drive more engagement and foot traffic as well. 

Justify Funding

Most libraries are public, and they’re funded by the government, at least to some extent. In addition to traditional funding sources, public libraries can also utilize grants and private donations to secure valuable financial support. Some libraries (usually larger ones) even have dedicated staff to secure grants and private donations.

When it comes to securing additional funding or advocating for your library’s value, relying on concrete and precise metrics at your fingertips can greatly bolster your stand. Showcasing who visits your library and how many visitors you pull daily, weekly, monthly, and on special events, etc., can all help your funding efforts and show donators that your library is quite important in bringing the community together. 

People counting and visitor analytics with extra features will also help you secure funding for improving your library’s technological infrastructure or getting new collections, as you can showcase patrons’ interest with proven numbers and data.

Simply put, to meet the diverse needs of your communities, you must secure funding and support from stakeholders. The best way to convince government organizations, foundations, or your community members is to provide them with concrete numbers.

Another great aspect of people counting is how it helps reduce your carbon footprint. Many foundations deeply care deeply about going green, and a library should play a key role in building sustainable and green spaces after all.


Libraries aren’t dying, they are just evolving. However, decreasing foot traffic is an undeniable fact (at least for most of them), and getting adequate financial support can be a tough challenge in the ever-growing competitive scene. Invest in new and innovative technologies to remain relevant, responsive, and impactful in the digital age. Get in touch with us now, and let’s shape the future of your library together!