As a brief refresher, I’d done some analysis of library statistics for the past decade or so. One of the things I discovered was that from 2000 through 2008 both mean and median visits per capita had increased, BUT this was despite the fact that a bit less than a third of the libraries saw a decrease.
I’ve tried to crunch and cross load the stats in a bunch of other ways. I found a bit of a surprise. See, I’d not found much correlation at all (25%) between change in visits per capita and change in circulation per capita. However, I discovered that over 80% of the libraries with declining visits per capita also had declining circulation per capita. There’s no RSQ correlation because the AMOUNT of change has no particular relationship. Just the gross level relationship.
For point of interest, more libraries are seeing declines in circulation per cap than visits per cap.
With that discovery I’ve been seeking other gross correlations. I’m still not finding anything obvious. Size of library, size of community served, state of library, none seem to have a solid comparison.
What I’ve got is a conundrum. 1/3 of the public libraries in the nation are declining but the rest are growing. I suspect I’m going to have to go to the qualitative surveys to figure out the next step.