Circulation and Collection data have long been two easy measures of the status of a library. While keeping up with circulation data continues to be important it is no longer the measure of reading skill or student achievement that dominates our overly-tested society.
I think that posting circulation data gives students and faculty a good idea of the use of the library. As with most things, I struggle with keeping up with a habit like this. I’m going to do my best to keep my circulation data posted this year. I started by getting September data posted this week. It means a bit more this year because I have not changed student checkout limits. Last year the numbers were all new to me and could not accurately be compared to the previous year.
It took me ten minutes to get the data up. It’s worth your time to do the same. Just run a report for historical circulation data for any month in the past. In Destiny the report can export to Excel or as a pdf. I usually choose the Excel version so I can delete all the irrelevant call numbers. The formulas do not translate into the spreadsheet, so I did have to reconfigure those. This took half of the time of the process. To make it simple I group some of our call numbers like Paperback with Fiction.
I also run Patron Statistics so I can see how many books were checked out at each grade level. When the data is posted it shows that circulation for Kindergarten is less than in other grade levels. This is why circulation data cannot be compared from school to school or in across years in some cases. Checkout guidelines influence the data and is meaningful only to those who know the story behind-the-scenes. Sometimes I run data by homeroom, but I do not post this information. Since we use open checkout as our primary means of circulation I want to know which homerooms I might need to target for support to get the kids into the library more often.