Libraries Serving 1,650 to 2,249 Patrons

More comments on the tables in Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13)
[$11.99 PDF, no DRM; $21.95 paperback; $31.50 hardcover]…this time on libraries serving the fourth-smallest patron size category: 1,650 to 2,249 potential patrons.

There are 40 fewer of these libraries than there are libraries serving 700 to 1,149, but only 27 had to be omitted, so the number in the tables is identical: 527 libraries. For expenditures, these libraries are a little lean at the richest and slightly lean at the poorest end, with more libraries grouped in the middle (specifically $21 to $35.99, three brackets totaling 39.4% rather than the overall 31.9%). This is the first size category where the best-funded libraries have a median benefit ratio below 4, although not much below (3.82)—libraries that doubtless serve their specific community needs very well.

Open hours

One well-funded library/system is open a lot of hours (4,000 or more, $259.40 per capita)—and again most libraries have fairly short schedules, with 62% open no more than 1,820 hours or 35 hours per week. The overall median is 1,672 (32 hours per week), and it’s only in the top two expenditure brackets that most libraries are open at least 2,040 hours (39 hours per week).

Computers for patron use with internet access

One library/system has 40 or more computers—and no, it’s not the library that’s open 4,000 hours or more, as this one has $74.53 expenditures per capita (and, unlike the other one, a very high benefit ratio for a well-funded library, 13.66).

Circulation and reference per capita

Noteworthy for not standing out: The patterns are very close to overall patterns, except that reference tends to be just slightly low.

PC use per capita and PCs per thousand patrons

PC use is a little high and computers per thousand patrons are significantly higher than overall, with only 8% in the bottom four (out of nine) brackets and 69% in the top three.

Circulation and patron visits per hour

A few of these libraries are reasonably busy. Two average 45 to 69 circulations per hour (12 manage at least 30) and three have at least 30 patron visits per hour. But most are still relatively quiet: 54% have less than one circulation every six minutes and 77% have less than one patron visit every seven minutes.

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