Overall there has been a downward trend in the number of phone callers to the library over the past 27 years.
Whether there was a downward trend before the point I started working I can't say for sure. But I suspect not. My 27 years mark most of the full arc of an implacable increase in automated opportunities to take care of library issues for oneself. And curiously all that automation and self service has made for increasingly bad phone systems at my library. As phones have become less instrumental tools they therefore receive less support. It's a vicious cycle. At this point, requesting a book online, for instance, is a simple and even vaguely entertaining process for anyone other than a person who still can't figure out these gosh danged computer doohickeys. Who wouldn't like online requesting if they could use it? It's like shopping without having to have money! And conversely our abandoned phone menus and tedious transfer systems are a gamut only run by the desperate, ill-equipped, profoundly disabled, and very lonely.
To which I can only say:
Okay. They're welcome too.