Archive for March 15th, 2013

Obligatory Google Reader post

Friday, 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

Friday, 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