The sixth of 49 notes on Chapter 20 of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13), this time on the public libraries of
Colorado’s 112 profiled libraries (with two others omitted) tend to be reasonably well funded, with 59 (53%) evenly distributed among the top three expenditure brackets (compared to 30% overall). Circulation is also on the high side, with slightly over half the libraries circulating at least 10 items per capita (compared to 38% overall) and only 12% of the libraries circulating fewer than 4 (compared to 21% overall). Visits per capita are distinctly on the high side, with 42% at nine or more visits per capita and 79% at five or more (compared to 20% and 54% respectively). Actually, all of the reported metrics are on the high side: 70% of the libraries had at least 0.3 program attendance per capita (54% overall) and 56% of the libraries had at least 1.7 PC uses per capita (30% overall).
Correlation between spending and circulation is good for the upper two-thirds of spending brackets, but the half-dozen libraries spending $21 to $25.99 have higher circulation than you’d expect (and also have the highest Benefit Ratio of any group). The same correlation and exception appear for program attendance.
Libraries by Legal Service Area
Circulation Per Capita and Spending Per Capita
There’s a strong correlation (0.64) between circulation per capita and spending per capita.
Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita
Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category