February 25th, 2021

How and Why is People Counting used in Public Institutions like Libraries?

With electronic access to vast quantities of information in today's digital age, libraries are now faced with the increasingly difficult and costly struggle to meet current needs and plan for future expectations. It is commonplace for public institutions like libraries to use People Counting to accurately determine how much traffic they receive to justify grants and public funding, but this is not the only reason they are turning to this type of data collection. 

The need for people counting and footfall analytics is also driven by administrators and librarians’ desire to know how their collections, services, and spaces are being used by those they serve. Libraries are now entering a period of data collection and assessment – assessment to learn about their communities and evaluate how the library and its services support them and how they can improve overall.

3 Reasons libraries use people counting analytics

The cornerstones of library data collection in the past focused on collection size, budget, and the number of staff, with the simple goal of improving on the previous year’s statistics. In modern times, things have changed drastically. Below we will explore how libraries are collecting and using data gathered from footfall counters.


1️⃣ Justify grants and public funding

 As mentioned, the digital age has forced libraries to present data proving demand for their services still exists in order to justify grants and public funding. This goes beyond simply counting the number of visitors that enter the building. People counting and footfall analytics systems can determine how libraries are being utilized and which services and facilities are working, and which are not.

The data also indicates how much certain floors or areas of a library are used and the number of people in those areas during each hour of the day. Such information is valuable because it allows library personnel to examine which rooms are used most and then determine if the amenities available in those areas can be replicated elsewhere in the facility.


2️⃣ Reduce costs

 It is easier to understand visitor behavior with analytical insights into the busiest periods – by hour, day, week, month, and year. Libraries can optimize their operating hours and schedule staff to meet the busiest periods. 

Identifying trends in visitor behavior provides insight into the extent to which the library is reaching its potential user population and which resources are used most. It helps staff decide on what and how much to order, as well as the number of employees needed to anticipate user requests.

In large buildings, you can also minimize resource wastage with automated lighting systems linked to footfall counters. When particular floors or areas are unoccupied, lighting will be automatically turned off to save resources and costs.


3️⃣ Improve visitor experience

Just as a retail store focuses on continuously improving their customers’ shopping experience, libraries are looking at innovative ways of enhancing their visitors' experience. People counting and analytics provide information on dwell time, queue length, and traffic patterns for library administrators to: 

▶︎ Identify popular areas and the amenities available in those areas to capitalize on;

▶︎ Measure queue lengths and waiting times to speed up services or deploy staff when necessary;

▶︎ Identify popular entrances, exits, and routes that visitors take to optimize the layout of the library.


With this information, libraries are better equipped to create effective marketing campaigns that resonate with their visitors, prevent customer frustration by managing queues, and enhance the customer journey throughout the store by optimizing walkways, product placement, and staff allocation.

Vemcount uses advanced technology to provide libraries with the ultimate solution to their data collection needs. With access to powerful dashboards displaying valuable KPIs and critical data about their facility’s performance in real-time, libraries can optimize their operations, reduce costs, and provide customer experiences that keep feet coming through the door.

Are you ready to turn your library into a future-proof, funding-friendly hub for the community? Get in touch with us to customize a solution that works for you.