Archive for November 2nd, 2012

Give Us a Dollar: A Request

Posted in $4 on November 2nd, 2012

I’m interrupting the flow of two-or-three-times-a-week comments on Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13) (that’s the $21.95 paperback; it’s also available as an $11.99 non-DRM PDF or a $31.50 hardbound) to add a request.

The request

If you’ve acquired this book and find it useful, please tell other people about it–maybe including your state library association list.

For that matter, if you find it useless or defective, or have suggestions on how to improve it, I wouldn’t mind hearing about it (waltcrawford at (If sales resume after the current hiatus and reach a given point, and if reaction is positive, I plan to do a new version next year or the year after, and could always use good advice.)

I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to publicize the book on state lists; for that matter, initial exploration suggests that it’s generally not even possible. So the only way the book will reach the people who might be able to use it best–the ones for whom I priced the PDF so low, namely librarians in the thousands of smaller libraries–is word of mouth.

And, while you’re here, an update on a related topic:

Graphing Public Library Benefits

I’ve put together the first four chapters of what would be a 19-chapter supplement to the first 19 chapters of Give Us a Dollar... and I think it’s at least interesting and possibly useful.

The supplement consists of graphs and a small amount of commentary; chapters 2 to 19 correspond to chapters 2 to 19 of the book. Each chapter includes a line graph showing occurrence of libraries by expenditures per capita (rounded to the nearest dollar). For each metric, there’s a scatterplot (accompanied by Pearson’s coefficient of correlation) to augment the benchmark table and one or two multicolor multiline graphs to augment the budget table (with one line for each expenditure category, showing occurrence of libraries within that expenditure category with rounded values of the metric).

So far, I’m finding some graphs that appear easy to read and meaningful, some that are harder to read.

The resulting publication will be an 8.5×11″ PDF–8.5×11″ because that allows for a 6.5″-wide graph rather than the 4″ graph feasible on a 6×9 page, PDF (primarily) because I need color to make the multiline graphs readable at all. If there’s explicit interest, I could also produce a print version–but that print version would be expensive because you have to use color throughout the book, at ten times the cost per page. (If the book comes out to 200 pages, which looks to be about right, the production cost would be $45 and the price would be $57 or so.) Unless there’s explicit interest, I won’t even offer a print version. (A hardcover version would be relatively not that much more expensive: The usual $10 extra.)

I’m guessing the PDF will be ready in mid- to late November, possibly early December. If you’re interested–and especially if you’re interested in a print book version–let me know. Note that the book is a supplement to Give Us a Dollar...: It does not replicate the tables themselves, and the tables are (I believe) far more useful as a library tool.

[I would note that the graphs also provide another possibility for state-specific or group-of-state reports, probably at $100 more than the prices quoted in the Fall 2012 Cites & Insights.]

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