June 05, 2008

Evaluating usage....

Gads. I didn't expect it to be this long between posts. However, the job does sometimes take over. The past several weeks I have been working on usage statistics. Bascially, the question is: how well are we doing with regards to what we are ordering? We started last year with FY 2005/06 and this year ran those stats again as well as for FY 2006/07. We run them by department, then I compile overall (or summary) stats for the collection as a whole. I was especially pleased this year because the report was modified to indicate whether a title was recieved on approval or from a firm order. I wasn't able to look at this last year.

The results are interesting. FY 2005/2006 is looking at two years of data. Overall, we have thus far circulated 45% of the materials ordered during that FY. That was up a little over 10% from the first year. For FY 2006/2007 we circulated about 1% less than the previous year, but we also ordered less. The interesting statistic, to me anyway, is that while a small number of titles seem to circulate, a high number of them circulate multiple times. This was almost across the board for all departments.

Approval vs. firm order. How did we fare? Well, in most cases firm orders ciruclated more than the approvals. Interestingly, in several departments where overall firm orders circulated more than approval, the titles with the highest circulation had more approval than firm order. We also saw this in reverse.

I'm not sure what one should hope for. More approvals circulating? More firm orders circulating? Or, maybe 50/50. Anyway, what does one glean from this? Well, several of my funds had approvals circulating more than firm orders. What I took away was that my approval plan was good. No tweaking needed. Perhaps, though, I should tweak my firm orders. I'm still working on a plan for this. Where approvals aren't circulating as much as firm orders, I'm thinking those plans need to be reviewed. It's my understanding that the approval plans haven't been reviewed in several years, so it's time to do that anyway.

For the curious, we ran the initial reports in Voyager and did the analysis in Excel. Fortunately, I'm fascinated by statistics, so it's somewhat of a fun exercise for me.