Iowa public libraries

Another post commenting on Chapter 20 of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13)–now available as a $9.99 Kindle ebook or $21.95 paperback with ISBN 978-1481279161 on Amazon, along with the usual Lulu options.

Iowa has a lot of public libraries for its three million people, 511 in the tables and another 30 omitted. They’re reasonably well distributed for expenditures—light at the top and very bottom, heavy in the middle. Whether adjusted or not, median benefit ratios for all expense categories are well above 4 (above 5 without adjustment). Circulation is just a bit on the low side, and expenses correlate very well with circulation. Patron visits tend slightly on the high side (with, again, full step-by-step expense correlation). Program attendance is slightly on the high side, with 53% having at least 0.4 per capita attendance (compared to 42% overall) and PC use per capita is significantly on the high side, with 31% having at least 2.25 uses per capita and 74% having one or more (compared to 19% and 57% overall).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 94 18.4% 24
700-1,149 77 15.1% 4
1,150-1,649 55 10.8% 2
1,650-2,249 69 13.5%
2,250-2,999 39 7.6%
3,000-3,999 43 8.4%
4,000-5,299 24 4.7%
5,300-6,799 19 3.7%
6,800-8,699 20 3.9%
8,700-11,099 17 3.3%
11,100-14,099 16 3.1%
14,100-18,499 7 1.4%
18,500-24,999 8 1.6%
25,000-34,499 8 1.6%
34,500-53,999 5 1.0%
54,000-104,999 8 1.6%
105,000-4.1 mill. 2 0.4%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Unusually, there’s only moderate correlation (0.45) between circulation per capita and spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

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