Minnesota 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.

Minnesota has 133 profiled libraries (and five omitted), which tend to be well-supported: only 16.5% are in the bottom three spending brackets (compared to 28% overall) and 41% are in the top three brackets (compared to 30% overall). Benefit ratios are consistently very high: 5.66 or higher before adjusting for Minnesota’s 102.8% cost of living, 5.82 or higher after that adjustment.

These are well-used libraries. Nearly two-thirds (63%) circulate at least 10 items per capita and 80% circulate 8 or more (compared to 38% and 50% overall)—or, looking at it another way, only 13 libraries (10%) circulate fewer than six items per capita (compared to 36% overall). Patrons visit libraries frequently, although the differences aren’t quite as pronounced. The budgetary tables show some remarkable figures: half of the best-funded libraries circulate more than 30 items per capita, and the top quarter stays at or above 13 per capita all the way down to $26 expenditures. (Median circulation tracks perfectly with spending.) PC use is also on the high side.

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 4 3.0% 2
700-1,149 12 9.0% 2
1,150-1,649 7 5.3% 1
1,650-2,249 12 9.0%
2,250-2,999 8 6.0%
3,000-3,999 12 9.0%
4,000-5,299 9 6.8%
5,300-6,799 10 7.5%
6,800-8,699 8 6.0%
8,700-11,099 5 3.8%
11,100-14,099 6 4.5%
14,100-18,499 4 3.0%
18,500-24,999 7 5.3%
25,000-34,499 4 3.0%
34,500-53,999 5 3.8%
54,000-104,999 4 3.0%
105,000-4.1 mill. 16 12.0%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Circulation per capita correlates very strongly (0.74) with spending pe capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

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