Sunday, January 7, 2018

2017 Library Data and Reflections: Circulation and Collections

The statistics octopus. She has tentacles.
This past year was... something. Yeah, that's what we'll go with. Now, as I gather the remains of the year and my tattered organization back together again (ok, it's not that bad, I'm just really tired) and start thinking about next year I find that it IS next year. So, here we are.


  • Total: 130,066
  • Overall, circulation increased from 2016 by about 900
  • Areas with notable changes
    • Juvenile nonfiction increased by about 3,400
    • Picture books decreased by about 2,000
    • Juvenile fiction increased by a little over 4,000
    • Children's (dvds) decreased by almost 4,000
    • I added a whole collection, Library on the Go, in the professional location about 450 titles.

Collection Size
  • Total: 26,966
  • Overall collection size decreased by about 800
  • Areas with notable changes
    • Picture book collection decreased by about 500
    • Children's (dvd) collection decreased by about 100
    • Young adult fiction decreased by about 200
    • Board books decreased by about 80
    • Juvenile fiction increased by about 1,000
Collection Reflections
  • We struggled with falling circulation last year. My department was the least affected, also in light of our rapidly increasing circulation over the past nine years I don't really feel this is that big of an issue. 
  • I weeded a LOT of the juvenile nonfiction, but also added an equal number so the collection size stayed about the same. I also increased usage there with my school visits and remote collections. I've put aside a significant amount of the budget to continue to grow this collection in 2018.
  • Our picture book collection has not been comprehensively weeded since I switched to neighborhoods in 2014. The size had ballooned to an unwieldy 6,000. I made a valiant effort to weed it, and got it down a bit, plus I didn't add a lot of picture books and I significantly weeded the tub books at the end of the year and haven't purchased replacements yet. We also saw a drop in picture book circulation since I didn't do any of my regular outreach in the fall. I think fines are an increasing problem in this area as well. I am going to be vigorously advocating for fine free picture books, tub books, board books, and easy readers. I'm also going to do some more weeding and focus on buying in this area.
  • Young adult didn't fit on the shelves. I had to do an emergency weed. We also had a decrease in circulation in this area. It's difficult to promote this one, so few teens are able or willing to read for pleasure. Our cataloger is going to work on purchasing some younger materials, more middle school age range, and hopefully our teen intern will have some good ideas.
  • Board books were compressed into a smaller area and there's basically a table in front of them. So, yeah, that's an issue. I'm going to move some of the toys to a different spot so there's more space and see what I can do about getting a smaller table so they're more accessible.
  • Juvenile fiction did well overall, but I may need to do some weeding as well as focus on keeping up with a lot of series to keep it going at its present height. I've also worked on purchasing more copies of popular materials for the summer.
  • Dvd circulation dropped by 4,000. I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I don't really want to encourage more use of dvds. On the other hand... so I did a major weed right at the end of the year - only about 100 of that showed up on the stats, but it's probably 3 or 4 times that. I'm removed scratched, gross, and icky movies (we reused a lot of cases so even some new movies look awful). I'm cleaning out duplicates - it was all very well to have 7 copies of Frozen, but we don't need that many now. Well, maybe 4. I'm purchasing additional copies of popular series (Paw Patrol. Blech.) and replacing worn but still popular titles. We'll see how it goes. I think it's a combination of more people using netflix and streaming services and those who can't afford those tend to run into the barrier of fines. So, we'll see what happens.

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