Friday, December 14, 2007

Lunching on library stats

One of the perks accompanying my various 'duties as assigned later' projects is that while binding surveys and reports, I have opportunity to peruse the same. No, I am not overstepping bounds looking at the materials, I am more often than not asked to edit while compiling materials to be bound. Yesterday's project was binding the library year-end annual report for the president and provost. This year's library annual report, the same one that prompted me to update my vitae, is later than usual due to the inclusion of a survey. It is interesting reading and I am enough of a statistical information hog that I immediately searched for numbers on resource center holdings, cataloging activity, and circulation. Finding what I wanted, this morning I asked to read those stats at a more leisurely pace; a request that was immediately and happily granted (the boss knows I love this stuff). Actually, pertinent information was emailed to everyone after I babbled about wanting to review resource center statistics.

Without providing proprietary information, here are some general comments about my resource center and juvenile collection:
  • Overall library circulation has steadily increased over the last seven years. Items circulating are not limited to books (DVD, CD, Software, and other materials) however , I find this particularly interesting due to the consistent availability of online information in databases, the Internet, and other electronic resources.
  • Between July 2000 and July 2007 there has been a catalog holdings increase of 49% for the juvenile collection and 60% for the resource center. Much of this may be attributed to the resource center officially becoming part of the library in 1999 and taken over by a librarian in 2000; it is my understanding that funds accompanied the space. More funding = more stuff.
  • Cataloging activity for my two areas of interest are a bit fuzzy, while both areas have increased the resource center numbers do not gel for me. On the other hand, the increasing space issue for the juvenile collection is aptly documented illustrating a 67% increase in juvenile books cataloged in 2007 compared to 2000.
  • As to circulation by type; the resource center (11%) and juvenile collection (16%) together account for 27% of the total library circulation in 2007. That is a significant increase over the 2000 figures, 70% for resource center and 42% for juvenile.

An over abundance of contributing factors and intangibles could argue for and against the above generalizations. But generally speaking, is it heartening to know that college students are indeed making use of academic libraries for more than email and printing.

Now, lunch is over and I have to trek across campus for a meeting.

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