Sender: "Susan B. Hagloch" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Statistics and Self-Recrimination
Like all of you, I tend to react with "Where have we failed?" when stats go
down. But then I step back and look at the total picture. In the past 20
years our population has declined somewhat. Twenty years ago the Director
theorized that library usage had reached "a natural high." And yet, during
the same 20 years, our usage stats increased by 217%!
Yes, we began counting AVs and In-House use. We've been fortunate that weve
had good funding. A building expansion allowed more materials. We've also
been able to expand our services with the aid of electronic data. But,
nevertheless, you just don't get increases like that forever! Sooner or
later your usage is going to level off, or even -- gasp! -- dip. Maybe the
budget will be cut; Maybe your building will simply not accomodate anything
more; Maybe you just won't be able to hire the caliber of personnel you
need. Or maybe it will be sunspots (Is it too late to blame Y2K?).
My point is that if we all look at a graph of annual usage stats over a
period of time, we'll see many peaks and valleys, but as long as the overall
pattern is growth, we shouldn't beat ourselves up.
Susan B. Hagloch, Director
Tuscarawas County Public Library
121 Fair Avenue NW
New Philadelphia, OH 44663-2600
(330) 364-8217 FAX
"Information is the currency of Democracy." Thomas Jefferson