Libraries Serving 11,100 to 14,099 Potential Patrons

Still “rural” by some definitions but into what I’d call smaller medium-sized libraries, 499 libraries are in these tables and 14 are omitted. The expenditure picture is patchier than usual, with somewhat fewer libraries in the $31-$35.99 and $17-$20.99 brackets and somewhat more (13%) in the $5-$11.99 bracket.

Open hours

The bulge is in the middle. Almost nine out of ten are open at least 40 hours per week; only 3% are open less than 35 hours per week. The biggest single bracket: 26% are open 2,700-3,099 hours per week (roughly 52 to 60 hours), compared to 12% overall.

There’s no expenditures bracket where even one-quarter of the libraries are open less than 2,080 hours (40 hours per week), including libraries spending $5-$11.99 per capita.

Computers for patron use with internet access

Another bulge in the middle, this time a narrower one: More than half the libraries (54%) have nine to 19 PCs, with only one out of five having more and one out of four having fewer (but only seven libraries have fewer than four). The median is a dozen, and once expenditures rise above $31 per capita, so does the median (to a high of 18 for the best-funded libraries).

PC use per capita and PCs per thousand patrons

PC use is slightly on the low side (with fewer libraries in the top two brackets, more in the bottom three); PC availability is significantly below average, with only two libraries (0%) having at least five per thousand (compared to 9% overall) and roughly half having less than one (compared to 38% overall).

Circulation and patron visits per hour

Forty-five percent of the libraries had 30 to 69 circ per hour; 16% were quite busy (70 or more) and 11% were relatively quiet (13 or less), with only 6% having less than one circ every six minutes. (The expenditures per capita track perfectly with circulation per hour, although when you look at budget brackets there are exceptions.)

Visits also cluster in the high middle, with 46% having 20 to 44 visits, 16% moreā€”and only 4% have fewer than 6 visits per hour.

Worth mentioning (again?): Since per-hour figures are across all hours in multibranch systems, they reflect levels of activity somewhat differently than circ and visits per capita.

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