Archive for January 18th, 2013

Massachusetts public libraries

Posted in $4 on January 18th, 2013

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.

The 361 profiled libraries in Massachusetts (nine omitted) are distributed across all spending categories, but with very few in the bottom three brackets (and, correspondingly, somewhat more than average in the top six brackets). Even without adjusting for Massachusetts’ cost of living (123.3% of national average), the median benefit ratio in every spending category is 4.4 or higher; adjusted, they’re all at least 5.5. The libraries rate high in circulation—47% circulate 13 or more items per capita (compared to 25% overall) and only 7% circulate fewer than four (compared to 21% overall). Patron visits are also somewhat high, with 54% having at least six visits per capita (42% overall). The budget table for circulation is striking—not only does median circulation increase significantly with each expenditure bracket, the median exceeds 23 for libraries spending $53 to $72.99 and 30 for those spending $73 and more. Program attendance is fairly typical and PC use is just slightly on the low side.

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700

8

2.2%

6

700-1,149

16

4.4%

2

1,150-1,649

22

6.1%

1

1,650-2,249

18

5.0%

2,250-2,999

9

2.5%

3,000-3,999

27

7.5%

4,000-5,299

17

4.7%

5,300-6,799

24

6.6%

6,800-8,699

26

7.2%

8,700-11,099

24

6.6%

11,100-14,099

32

8.9%

14,100-18,499

39

10.8%

18,500-24,999

27

7.5%

25,000-34,499

30

8.3%

34,500-53,999

19

5.3%

54,000-104,999

19

5.3%

105,000-4.1 mill.

4

1.1%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Massachusetts public libraries show very strong correlation (0.78) 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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