Public Library Statistics: reporting and using

picture of data digest cover

By Frank Nelson, Library Consultant

Reminder: The Public Library FY12 Annual Report is due January 31, 2013. You will find the form at http://collect.btol.com. Usernames and passwords are the same as for previous years.

And now the Statistics FY11 Data Digest, a pocket summary of the statistics publication, is posted at http://libraries.idaho.gov/page/2011-fy-public-library-statistics as PowerPoint slides that you can download and use in presentations. This tool can help you give stakeholders a snapshot of the critical role that Idaho libraries play as anchor institutions in their communities and how library use has increased in recent years.

The statistics publications also give you an opportunity to track your own library activity from year to year, compare information from libraries of similar size or governance structure, obtain statistics to support budget requests, analyze the needs of your community, and plan how your library will serve the community in the future.

Timely and accurate numbers are becoming more and more important for library decision makers and funding authorities, so please make those reports a priority this and every year. Every library counts!