The State Library recently published the statistics that it gathers in a handy-dandy data digest form. Can you guess the right answers?
On a typical day, Kansas public libraries:
1. Welcome how many people? a) 30,009 b) 40,930 c) 35,210
2. Circulate how many items: a) 65,324 b) 63,675 c) 71,434
3. Answer how many reference questions? a) 6,434 b) 7,600 c) 7,400
4. Connect how many people to the Internet? a) 18,567 b) 21,962 c) 19,767
Answers: 1.b, 2.c, 3.b, 4.b
In the year 2007, more than 1.2 million Kansans visited their public libraries each month, checked out more than 26 million library items saving $677 million, and connected to the Internet more than 8 million times. You can view the entire data digest at http://www.kslib.info/sdc/documents/datadigest09.pdf.
Library use increases when times are tough, and demand for shared resources is up.
A more recent study by The State Data Center and the Kansas Library Association was conducted to learn if library use has increased because of current economic conditions. The survey asked for monthly circulation totals from January 2007 through January 2009.
The findings of the survey, from data provided from 90 libraries of all sizes, suggests there has been a significant increase in circulation over the past year.
Total annual circulation was up nearly 7 percent, while circulation in the fourth quarter was up 8.8 percent over the previous year. Circulation in December 2008 was 20.2 percent higher than in December of 2007.
The changes in circulation over the two-year period were compared to changes in unemployment claims during the same time. This analysis revealed a significant positive correlation between unemployment claims and circulation. Put simply, when unemployment claims go up, library circulation also goes up.
Woman’s Day magazine will feature stories about how libraries have helped people save in unexpected ways during a tough financial crunch. If you have a story to share, submit an essay of 700 words or less. Up to four women’s stories will be featured in a coming issue of Woman’s Day. Enter between Feb. 17 and May 18; see http://www.womansday.com/Content/Family-Lifestyle/ALA-Contest-Info-Rules for official rules and how to enter.
We are learning some tips to help in searching the shared NExpress catalog. While it is wonderful to have access to the materials from the many other libraries included, it can be a little overwhelming to sort through the results. If you want to check for only Ottawa Library holdings, you can add “Ottawa” to any search. We have found it is best to choose a keyword search rather than a subject search, and it is most helpful to click on a title to see the availability rather than look at the right sidebar. With an advanced search you can limit it to an item type like DVDs.