Archive for December 5th, 2012

FELICITAS and other stuff

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

First off, FELICITAS

That’s actually the new coupon code for the longest-duration sale I’ve ever seen at Lulu: 20% off one order (that is, as many books, ebooks, etc. as you want, but all purchased as one transaction) between now and December 14, 2012.

You enter the coupon code in ALL CAPS

That would bring Graphing Public Library Benefits down to $9.56 (and there’s no shipping charge for a PDF). Obviously I think that experiment is worth a look for a tenspot (and you can pass it along to others who might be interested…with my blessing.)

Or the classy hardbound edition of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13) for $25.20. (OK, technically, I haven’t seen the hardbound edition, but I know from other hardbound Lulu editions that it’s classy.)

Or the paperback for $17.56. Or the PDF for, hmm, $9.56. (Buy the PDF of that book and GPLB and you’re still out less than $20.)

or Cites & Insights 12 for $40 (or all seven C&I volumes for $280–hey, I might as well dream big).

Or, for that matter, my very first Lulu book, which just reached my success target (between Lulu and CreateSpace), selling its 300th copy: Balanced Libraries: Thoughts on Continuity and Change–for $20. (I’m wondering whether it’s worth doing a heavily revised second edition. If that happens, it won’t happen any time soon.)

It’s rare for a Lulu sale to run over the weekend. I don’t remember when there’s been a sitewide sale lasting 10 days. Remember: It’s a win-win: I get the same revenue, you get a bargain.

 Other Stuff: The Survey

If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to go take the Cites & Insights Format & Content survey. There are only five questions, and only one of them is required. It shouldn’t take you more than five minutes.

I promise that I’ll read all of the comments carefully and that I will pay attention to the results.

I suspect that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to publish a new issue during the December Doldrums, so the first issue of 2013 (Volume 13) will probably appear in very early January. Given that some key questions have to do with the format of the publication, and that I need to decide what to do about that at least three or four days before publishing the next issue, let’s set Monday, December 24, 2012 as a deadline for the survey–I’ll treat the results as an Xmas present.

Oh, and by the way, there are no points off for saying that you consistently read and find highly valuable a section of Cites & Insights that hasn’t actually appeared…

So: Please take the survey. ‘Preciate it.

A few words about the formats:

I just looked at C&I activity during 2012. Perhaps worth noting, looking only at issues in Volume 12 that actually appeared in both one-column and two-column PDF form:

  • In three cases, there were more than half as many one-column PDF downloads as there were two-column, but one of those cases is too recent to be very meaningful. In two of the three cases, the one-column figure is barely over half the two-column; in the third, which looks likely to be the least-read issue of the year, it’s about 70%.
  • At the other extreme, in what’s easily the most-read issue of the year (as usual, an issue I thought about not publishing–no prizes for Googlingguessing the issue’s theme), the ratio was roughly six to one, two column to one.
  • HTML separates were viewed more often than two-column PDFs were downloaded in six cases, but three of those are from the same issue (and that issue may be too recent for this to be meaningful). In one and only one case, an essay was viewed more than twice as often in HTML form than it was downloaded as a two-column PDF, and that’s the only case in which the single-essay views exceed the total PDF downloads.
  • In general, HTML readership seems to be higher than one-column PDF downloads and lower than two-column downloads.

And that’s the way it is.

Alabama library notes

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The second of 49 notes on Chapter 20 of Give Us a Dollar and We’ll Give You Back Four (2012-13), this time on Alabama’s libraries.

A substantial percentage of Alabama’s 189 libraries (plus 27 omitted) are relatively poorly supported, with 57% in the bottom three brackets (compared to 28% overall)—but 11 libraries spend at least $73 per capita, the top bracket. Funding difficulties mirror relatively low usage, even though benefit ratios for every expenditure category are at least 4.5 (without cost of living adjustment; 4.2 with adjustment). Only 33% of the libraries show at least six circulation per capita (compared to 64% overall) and only 28% have at least five patron visits per year (54% overall). More than half the libraries have less than 0.2 program attendance per capita (compared to 31% overall).

The budget tables show a strong correlation between spending and circulation (except that libraries spending $21 to $25.99 have lower numbers than those spending $17 to $20.99), all the way from a median of 2.21 circ per capita for the lowest spending bracket to 19.09 for the highest.

Libraries by legal service area

LSA Count % Outliers
<700 4 2.1%
700-1,149 15 7.9%
1,150-1,649 9 4.8% 1
1,650-2,249 14 7.4%
2,250-2,999 11 5.8% 1
3,000-3,999 11 5.8% 2
4,000-5,299 13 6.9% 2
5,300-6,799 12 6.4% 4
6,800-8,699 12 6.4% 3
8,700-11,099 14 7.4%
11,100-14,099 13 6.9%
14,100-18,499 16 8.5% 2
18,500-24,999 12 6.4% 3
25,000-34,499 8 4.3% 1
34,500-53,999 11 5.8% 3
54,000-104,999 9 4.8% 4
105,000-4.1 mill. 5 2.7% 1

Bonus graphs

For Alabama libraries, there’s a strong correlation (0.70) between circulation per capita and spending per capita.

Circulation per capita plotted against spending per capita

Circulation per capita (rounded) occurrence by spending category