Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Fun with numbers

The first day back at work seems like an excellent time to check in on the circulation stats from last semester.

We made a lot of changes last semester - the Fall group moved into new student accommodation, the building hours here at the classroom centre changed, and my library moved from the 1st floor to the 3rd, into a very different space - so it's almost impossible to attribute causation, but still interesting to look for patterns. (I'll be getting the results of our general student feedback surveys tomorrow, and the comments there may help me figure out some possible whys.)

Pure circulation numbers confirm that one of my fears about the library move did not come to pass. If the move the 3rd floor had made the new library 'out of sight, out of mind', or too much effort to visit, you would expect to see a drop in circulation figures. The stats say, that didn't happen. Last Spring was our highest ever circulation semester, both in raw numbers and in terms of items per student per teaching week, and we didn't hit those highs, but both measures were higher this past Fall than they were in Fall 2010. There's always more I can do with promotion, advertising, and making sure we have good resources available for people to borrow, but there's no collapse in circulation figures that would indicate that the move was a major problem on that front. (This matches my observations about the space in use throughout the semester, but it's nice to have some numbers to back them up!)

Mondays were, unsurprisingly, the busiest days for all sorts of transactions - loans, returns and renewals - and I wonder if the pattern of Tuesday's being the second highest loan day, but Wednesdays being the second highest returns day indicates a lot of people returning books after 6pm on Tuesdays, which then wouldn't get processed until the next day. There's a fairly solid band of loans going out over the weekends - hurray for self-check! Renewals get a spike on Sundays, which I'd guess is people getting ready for a new week of classes, and Thursdays are a popular day for dvd loans - something for the weekend, I wonder? Travel book check out is pretty even across the teaching week, but non-existent on weekends, which makes sense, as that's when the readers of travel books are doing their travel.

* Photo by Cara Photography, used under Creative Commons, with thanks.

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