Thursday, July 25, 2013

Oshkosh, Your Library Love is Like a See-Saw (Circulation Edition)

Digital media accelerating 10-year decline in local library usage.  (Oshkosh Northwestern, 7/25/2013)

Excerpt 1: A 10-year decline in the number of people using the Oshkosh Public Library has accelerated following the emergence of tablet computers three years ago, yet survey data indicates most people still highly value library services. Local library use is falling by nearly every measure, from the number of registered card holders to annual circulation, Internet users and visitor counts, according to an Oshkosh Northwestern Media analysis of preliminary 2012 data and 10-year trend figures compiled by the state Department of Public Instruction.

Excerpt 2:  Oshkosh library circulation has fallen an average of 3 percent per year since the iPad first hit store shelves in early 2010. Before that, circulation had been inching downward at an average rate of less than one percent per year between 2003 and 2009.

RG comment:  As the column graph and table indicate, Oshkosh's year-by-year circulation hasn't so much been inching downward as it's been see-sawing.

Up in 2003.

Down in 2004.

Up in 2005.

Down in 2006.

Up in 2007.

Down in 2008.

Up in 2009.

Down -- considerably, abruptly, anomalously down -- in 2010, which reporter Adam Rodewald seems to attribute to the introduction of the iPad.  It's possible, but I'd feel better if I saw the smoking gun.

But then how do we explain.....

Up in 2011.

Down in 2012.

The overall decline in circulation is 8.7%, an average rate of less than 1% per year, which represents a 10-year decrease of 99,788.  In 2010, circulation dropped 110,582 from the previous year.

Oshkosh, your library love is like a see-saw.

Library circulation is up 2% since 2010.

Which doesn't include the "circulation" of e-resources.

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