Changes in Library Statistical Reporting

As the library community and the governmental agencies and organizations to which we report struggle to develop a consistent method of reporting and assessing library holdings and usage in the online world, we find that the reporting of data in our old format was not inline with new reporting requirements.

Several changes have been made beginning with this report.

Library holdings are no longer reported by volume count. We now report by title count. This reduces the reported numbers as multiple copies and multi-volume sets will be counted as one title. The new count makes sense as reporting by title count allows better comparison between print and digital holdings.

Library direct ownership is no longer the reported norm. Instead, we are now reporting not only ownership of materials, but entitlements to titles through subscription. This makes the counted titles significantly higher in all categories.

Usage counts for book physical circulation have also changed, along with usage data for online resources. We no longer count in-house use of physical (print) materials or renewal. Only first-time checkout is reported. Use of journals online will no longer be reported by sessions or searches conducted. We will report based on full-text retrieval.

Much of library collection counts and usage statistics are reported to meet requirements of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Electronic resource (ebook and journal) usage is being developed by Project COUNTER to standardize the reporting by database platforms and titles. Not all vendors are COUNTER compliant and so usage statistics provided by these vendors do not report the same measure of usage. In the same vein, not all electronic resources are full text resources, so measurement of use cannot always be counted in full text download.

Ebook usage data is dependent on ebook format. Those in PDF format are created for a single download and usage is counted accordingly. Ebooks in EPUB format are downloaded by chapters or sections and are counted in that way. This makes comparing Ebook usage from vendor to vendor nearly impossible.

Because of this huge change in reporting and other difficulties, we will not be publishing comparative data in some areas. Our Fact Book has morphed into Library Facts, containing the basics of collections counts and usage of services. A more extended analysis of usage is being compiled for use in the library’s annual assessment reports.