Friday, February 17, 2012

Library Circulation: Are You Shocked?

Book Buying Survey 2012: Book Circ Takes A Hit. (Library Journal, 2/14/2012)

Excerpt:    But it is a shock to discover that book circulation, having soared over the last decade, has suddenly gone flat.  
The bar went flat in Wisconsin last year for all formats.  (The Wisconsin Public Library Service Data does not provide subtotals for book and audiovisual circulation.)

And then there's this long-simmering discussion.

And, in a slightly different vein.

Back Talk:  The Stat Factor.  (Library Journal, 8/15/2008)


Terry Dawson said...

So are eBook uses circulations per se? Who gets to count them?

Miss Pippi said...

What an informative post! Thanks for the additional articles.

Lynn Stainbrook said...

Thanks Paul for bringing another article to our attention. As a counterpoint, I want to mention that Brown County Library circulation was up from the previous year. We had over 2.5 million checkouts for the first time, up almost 100,000 items from 2010. Plus, we checked out over 70,000 e-content (not included in the 2.5M number). We had increases in our collection budget!! So, maybe having poor book budgets had more impact than the article gives credit. I really believe that more publicity about books and reading, whether it's about e-books or not, helps to promote library business.

steev said...

we also flattened out in 2010, but our 2011 numbers were up and so far 2012 is higher than 2011 (i know, it's early in the year). i'm not ready to blame e-books for anything, yet. we're a small, rural library, so it's good to know that other libraries have seen this flattening effect.

Nancy said...

We saw a huge surge in circulation 2006-2008 as our new DVD collection was growing. Numbers dropped in 2010 and again in 2011, but when I analyzed the statistics, the drop was entirely in DVDs. Book numbers had remained stable or risen, even with the rising number of ebook checkouts through Overdrive. We are competing with two Redboxes in our community as well as Netflix. We are out of room to grow our DVD collection, and can only add new titles by weeding older ones. I fully expect DVDs to be obsolete in another five years or so, so I am not going to worry about those numbers.