Archive for March, 2013

Texas public libraries

Posted in $4 on March 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. Note that Lulu prices for the paperback and hardback versions are now lower.

While the 537 profiled libraries in Texas (27 omitted) are distributed throughout spending levels, most are on the low side, with 44% in the bottom two brackets and 71% in the bottom four (compared to 39% overall). Median benefit ratios are consistently above 4.3 without adjusting for Texas’ 90.5% cost of living, and only one bracket falls just below 4 (to 3.95) adjusted.

Circulation is on the low side, with 22% circulating at least eight items per capita (compared to 50% overall). Only 30% of the libraries report at least five patron visits per capita (compared to 54% overall), only 35% report at least 0.3 program attendance per capita (compared to 54% overall), and PC use is better but still somewhat on the low side, with 32% reporting at least 1.3 uses per capita (compared to 43% overall).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 5 0.9% 5
700-1,149 15 2.8%
1,150-1,649 25 4.7% 3
1,650-2,249 27 5.0% 1
2,250-2,999 27 5.0% 3
3,000-3,999 49 9.1% 2
4,000-5,299 39 7.3%
5,300-6,799 37 6.9% 1
6,800-8,699 43 8.0% 1
8,700-11,099 43 8.0% 3
11,100-14,099 25 4.7% 3
14,100-18,499 31 5.8%
18,500-24,999 32 6.0%
25,000-34,499 34 6.3% 2
34,500-53,999 42 7.8% 3
54,000-104,999 24 4.5%
105,000-4.1 mill. 39 7.3%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Circulation per capita correlates strongly (0.67) with spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

Thank you also

Posted in Cites & Insights on March 16th, 2013

A followup to this brief post:

Another donation to support Cites & Insights received, for which I am also grateful.

Thank you.

You might think of C&I not so much as a free ejournal but as a “Pay what you wish” ejournal. I receive no ad revenue, grant funding, sponsorship or other support beyond Paypal donations. And, to be sure, I have no salary or other steady sources of earnings either (there’s a little royalty now and then, but “little” is the appropriate term).

I’ve tried a variety of library-related initiatives, so far without much success. I love doing C&I and participating in the field, although financially I’d be much better off finding a part-time job stocking shelves at Costco or greeting people at Home Depot. (Thanks in part to the Fed’s ongoing campaign of punishing any elders or others so foolish as to actually save money and forcing us to be risk-takers, “financially” continues to be an issue, maybe more so than a couple of years ago.)

So I particularly appreciate these payments. Who knows? Someday I might be able to justify going back to ALA…or to some other conference where I’m not being paid to speak.

Obligatory Google Reader post

Posted in Technology and software on March 15th, 2013

This post contains nothing of import.

Like many other library folk, I use Google Reader–in my case, not as a news source, but to keep up with liblogs (and a few dozen other blogs).

Like many others, I was saddened by Google’s announcement that, as with other Google services that don’t seem to bring enough $$$revenue$$$, it’s killing Google Reader. Hey, at least Google gave 3.5 months warning.

I’ve read lots of posts about the shutdown and alternatives. Several seem to have good advice. A special partial-hand salute to those who say “You shouldn’t use RSS anyway, social media are all you need.” Works for them: Fine. Telling me that if it doesn’t work for me, it’s my fault: Not so fine. Personal preferences matter.

Free services tend to go away. I know that. You should remember that. (Public libraries aren’t free: They’re community-funded on a prepaid basis.)

I don’t really have more to say that hasn’t been covered to death by others.

My own experience in getting out while the getting is good:

  • Restored my Bloglines account. And waited. And waited. And… Removed Bloglines from my Favorites list.
  • Tried Feedly this morning. I think that’s going to be workable; they sure have made from-Greader migration easy. We shall see. (I’m a Firefox user, and I think that helps.)
  • Haven’t tried The Old Reader because of other stories about the backlog. If Feedly turns out to be annoying, maybe I’ll try it later.

No great thoughts here.

 

Tennessee public libraries

Posted in $4 on March 15th, 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. Note that Lulu prices for the paperback and hardback versions are now lower.

Most of the 150 Tennessee libraries profiled (36 were omitted) fall near the bottom of the funding scale, with 83% spending less than $21 (compared to 28% overall).

Circulation is low, with only 14% circulating at least eight items per capita (compared to 50% overall). Patron visits are also low, with 19% reporting at least five visits per capita (compared to 54% overall). Only 15% of the libraries manage at least 0.3 program attendance per capita (compared to 54% overall), and 41% are in the bottom bracket. Finally, PC use is low, but not as low, with 24% reporting at least 1.3 uses per capita (compared to 43% overall).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 6 4.0% 1
700-1,149 4 2.7%
1,150-1,649 6 4.0%
1,650-2,249 6 4.0% 2
2,250-2,999 5 3.3% 1
3,000-3,999 5 3.3% 2
4,000-5,299 4 2.7% 1
5,300-6,799 12 8.0% 6
6,800-8,699 10 6.7% 1
8,700-11,099 4 2.7% 5
11,100-14,099 13 8.7% 3
14,100-18,499 13 8.7% 3
18,500-24,999 14 9.3% 3
25,000-34,499 13 8.7% 5
34,500-53,999 15 10.0% 2
54,000-104,999 12 8.0% 1
105,000-4.1 mill. 8 5.3%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Circulation per capita correlates strongly (0.59) with spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

South Dakota public libraries

Posted in $4 on March 13th, 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. Note that Lulu prices for the paperback and hardback versions are now lower.

Most of South Dakota’s 106 profiled libraries (six were omitted) have middling funding, with three-quarters spending $12 to $42.99. Circulation is mildly low in general, while patron visits are typical. Program attendance and PC use are also fairly typical (except that there’s a slight bulge at the very bottom in each case).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 24 22.6% 4
700-1,149 18 17.0%
1,150-1,649 12 11.3% 1
1,650-2,249 8 7.5%
2,250-2,999 7 6.6%
3,000-3,999 8 7.5%
4,000-5,299 3 2.8%
5,300-6,799 4 3.8% 1
6,800-8,699 3 2.8%
8,700-11,099 3 2.8%
11,100-14,099 4 3.8%
14,100-18,499 3 2.8%
18,500-24,999 5 4.7%
25,000-34,499 1 0.9%
34,500-53,999 1 0.9%
54,000-104,999 1 0.9%
105,000-4.1 mill. 1 0.9%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Circulation per capita correlates moderately (0.48) with spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

Thank you!

Posted in Cites & Insights on March 11th, 2013

Just a quick note: I received two donations for Cites & Insights today.

Both are appreciated.

Thanks.

South Carolina libraries

Posted in $4 on March 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. Note that Lulu prices for the paperback and hardback versions are now lower.

Most of the 41 South Carolina libraries profiled (one was omitted) fall into the lower half of funding: 32 (78%) spend less than $26 per capita, and 20 of those (49%) spend less than $17. Circulation is distinctly low, with only 22% circulating at least 6 items per capita (compared to 64% overall) and none circulating 13 or more (compared to 25% overall). The same holds for patron visits: Only 24% report four or more visits per capita, compared to 65% overall. Similarly, no library reports 0.7 or more program attendance per capita and only 5% achieve at least 0.4 (compared to 42% overall). PC use is also low.

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
8,700-11,099 1 2.4%
14,100-18,499 1 2.4%
18,500-24,999 3 7.3%
25,000-34,499 7 17.1% 1
34,500-53,999 5 12.2%
54,000-104,999 11 26.8%
105,000-4.1 mill. 13 31.7%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

There’s very strong correlation (0.81) between circulation per capita and spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

Note that there are no libraries in the $36-$42.99 and $73+ categories.

Cites & Insights 13:4 (April 2013) available

Posted in Cites & Insights on March 8th, 2013

After three Big Serious Issues in a row, and with a Big Serious Essay on the Mythical Public Library coming up in May, it’s time for a little break…

The April 2013 Cites & Insights (13:4) is now available for downloading at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i4.pdf

It’s 34 pages.

The 6×9″ single-column “online version,” optimized for e-reading, is also available at http://citesandinsights.info/civ13i4on.pdf and is 63 pages.

The issue includes:

The Front (pp. 1-2)

The Year of Both? My possibly-too-hopeful sense that more and more sensible people, and even some pundits, are recognizing that ebooks and print books are both likely to have substantial roles going forward.

The Middle: Deathwatch 2013! (pp. 2-19)

Catching up with the doomcryers (excluding print books–but see below).

Words: The Death of Books (or Not)  (pp. 19-27)

 What it says.

The Back (pp. 27-34)

Catching up with miscellaneous snarkiness through 2011 (and more recently for magazine items).

Enjoy!

Rhode Island public libraries

Posted in $4 on March 8th, 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. Note that Lulu prices for the paperback and hardback versions are now lower.

Of 43 Rhode Island libraries profiled (five were omitted), the bulk have either moderate or mediocre funding: 14 (33%) spend between $36 and $52.99 while 17 (40%) spend $21 to $30.99. None are at the very bottom; none are near the top ($53 to $72.99), but four are in the top bracket.

Circulation is fairly typical through the top, but only two libraries circulate fewer than four items per capita (that is, 5%, compared to 21% overall). Patron visits are just a bit low, but program attendance is distinctly low, with only 9% of the libraries achieving 0.5 or more attendance per capita (compared to 33% overall). PC use is also low, with 26% reporting at least 1.3 uses per capita (compared to 43% overall).

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
700-1,149 0.0% 1
3,000-3,999 1 2.3%
4,000-5,299 1 2.3%
5,300-6,799 3 7.0%
6,800-8,699 4 9.3%
8,700-11,099 5 11.6%
11,100-14,099 2 4.7%
14,100-18,499 6 14.0% 1
18,500-24,999 7 16.3%
25,000-34,499 6 14.0% 2
34,500-53,999 3 7.0%
54,000-104,999 3 7.0% 1
105,000-4.1 mill. 2 4.7%

Circulation per capita and spending per capita

Circulation per capita correlates very strongly (0.75) with spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category

There are no libraries in the $5-$11 and $53-$72 range, but the legends appear for consistency.

Broadening my horizons: First report

Posted in Liblogs on March 7th, 2013

A little over a month ago, I wrote “Broadening my library horizons: A blog-reading experiment.”

That post noted the experiment I began then (actually on February 2, 2013): To subscribe to all of the “Current blogs” from my most recent look at liblogs that still exist and have RSS/Atom feeds–which turned out to be roughly 900 of them–and to read them, or at least skim the titles, for at least a month.

Well, OK, for at least the rest of the month–February 2 through 28, 2013.

It wasn’t difficult. The biggest day had 35 bookblog posts and 169 other liblog posts.

The average was 21 bookblog posts (probably a little higher) and 106 other liblog posts–but that includes a couple dozen blogs that are newer than those in the list.

This suggests to me that library blogs devoted to book reviewing have declined, at least to some extent. So have others, at least most of them.

Backing off: The first cut

I’m reading some things that I wouldn’t have encountered before. That’s good.

But I did make some changes at the start of March:

  • I deleted the bookblogs as a group (although there are some other blogs that I didn’t recognize as bookblogs).
  • I deleted two very active law-related blogs, which between them probably make up more than 10% of the typical daily total.

Other than that, I’m sticking with it for at least another month…and maybe a lot longer. Well, if I conclude that certain blogs are nothing but lists of links, they may go away…

Sure, I’m seeing some stuff that seems wholly irrelevant. I’m also seeing some stuff that I find absurd. And that’s OK. I’m seeing a broader range of opinions.

I’m also adding new blogs more readily based on links. That’s good.

And that’s as analytical as I’m likely to get. There’s no broader import here; I’m not going to do any statistical studies, a fifth-anniversary or 10th-anniversary (depending how you look at it) Liblog Landscape, or any of that.

 


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