Archive for February 11th, 2013

Cites & Insights 13:3 (March 2013) available

Posted in Cites & Insights, Libraries on February 11th, 2013

Cites & Insights 13:3 (March 2013) is now available for downloading at

The issue is 32 pages long. For those reading online or on a tablet or ebook reader, the single-column “online edition” is available at The single-column (6×9) version is 67 pages long.

Note: If you don’t plan to print this issue out, the single-column version may be preferable: Graphs and tables take advantage of the wider single column.

This issue includes the following:

The Front  (pp. 1-3)

On the Contrary: Notes on being a contrarian (or a skeptic)

Libraries: Academic Library Circulation: Surprise!  (pp. 3-17)

We all know that circulation in (nearly all) academic libraries has been dropping for years, right? What does (nearly all) mean? Would you believe that a majority of U.S. academic libraries reporting circulation in both 2008 and 2010 (excluding clearly anomalous cases) actually had more circulation in 2010 than in 2008? This article looks at changes in circulation (overall and per capita) by type of library (as broken down in NCES reports–by region, sector, and Carnegie classifications), and also shows the difference between overall average, average of institutional averages, and median figures–frequently surprising differences.

Media: 50 Movie Box Office Gold, Part 2 (pp. 17-26)

Seven discs, 28 movies, all color, some I refused to finish watching.

Libraries: Academic Library Circulation, Part 2: 2006-2010  (pp. 26-32)

Was the period from 2008 to 2010 (2010′s the most recent NCES report) anomalous? This study compares circulation (overall and per capita) between FY2006 and FY2008, FY2006 and FY2010 and FY2008 and FY2010, breaking things down in the same categories as part 1, but this time showing the percentage of libraries with significantly growing circulation, significantly shrinking circulation, and circulation staying about the same. (Overall, 40% grew significantly from 2006 to 2010 and 50.6% shrank significantly; 37.9% grew in per capita circulation and 54.6% shrank significantly–where I defined “significant” as 2.5% over two years or 5% over four years.)

The April issue will not be heavy on original research and statistics. Come May, we’re probably back to public libraries…but that’s a long way away!

North Dakota public libraries

Posted in $4 on February 11th, 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.

Sixty libraries are profiled; 21 are omitted. No libraries are in the top two expenditure brackets and only 17% spend $31 or more per capita (compared to half the libraries overall). Benefit ratios are very high, with median 5.12 or above after adjusting for the 95.1% cost of living. No library is in the top bracket for circulation or patron visits. Most libraries are in the lower midrange of circulation, with only 8% circulating 13 or more items (compared to 25% overall). PC use is distinctly low, with only 12% having 1.7 uses or more per capita (compared to 43% overall).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 7 11.7% 9
700-1,149 10 16.7% 8
1,150-1,649 11 18.3% 1
1,650-2,249 5 8.3%
2,250-2,999 7 11.7%
3,000-3,999 2 3.3%
4,000-5,299 2 3.3% 1
5,300-6,799 1 1.7%
6,800-8,699 2 3.3% 1
11,100-14,099 2 3.3%
14,100-18,499 2 3.3%
18,500-24,999 3 5.0%
25,000-34,499 2 3.3% 1
34,500-53,999 1 1.7%
54,000-104,999 3 5.0%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Circulation per capita correlates strongly (0.51) with spending per capita.

Note that this graph goes to $55, more than the highest actual spending.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

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