Thursday, June 25, 2009

GIFSL*: 36. Stats are your friend (2)

Now you've had some fun with maths and a calculator, here's another easy library stat to keep an eye on.  In my library's OASIS library software, I can see each week's total number of loans.  I can see the daily ones, too, but they can vary due to assorted things.  But keep an eye on the weekly number.  What was it at the same time last year?  Same? More? Less? 

I also compare the same term from last year with this year's term - the total number of loans, and the weekly average.  Without in any way having a robotic enslavement to stats, it's motivating to know how things are going.  To be encouraged to keep going, when they're going well.  To be inspired to do better, when they're maybe down a little.

You can also check the impact of specific programs - the first couple of days of holiday borrowing usually produce a spike, and the last two weeks of term when we promote holiday borrowing usually have elevated figures compared to other weeks during that term.

This is by no means the only measure of your library's success; but it's a useful tool, for sure and certain.  The stats I've mentioned here and in the previous entry are relatively basic ones, and library software should yield these to you without too much trouble.  In OASIS Library (as found in NSW DET schools) I get this info from B2 (Circulation) then M1.

Again, if I was sharing these figures, I'd be inclined to % them rather than talking raw numbers, as that can be clearer (or less likely to be misinterpreted).  But these are ones I mostly just check for my own knowledge of our progress, our 'sales'.

Cheers, Ruth

*GIFSL = Good Ideas For School Libraries

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