Public Library Data Glossary
ALA-MLS Librarian—A librarian with a Master’s from a graduate program of library and information studies accredited by the American Library Association.
Attendance At Children’s Programs As Percent Of Total Attendance—This statistic compares the attendance at Children’s Programs with total program attendance. This item is useful for evaluating library services to children.
Audio Materials—Materials on which sound (only) is stored (recorded) and that can be reproduced (played back) mechanically or electronically. Included are audiocassettes, phonograph records, audio cartridges, audio disks, audio reels, compact disks (including audio CD-ROMs), talking books, and other sound recordings. Report the number of physical units, including duplicates. For smaller libraries, if physical unit data are not available, count the number of titles. Items packaged together as a unit (e.g., two audiocassettes for one recorded book) and checked out as a unit are counted as one physical unit.
Bookmobiles—A bookmobile is a traveling branch library consisting of a truck or van that carries an organized collection of library materials, paid staff, and regularly scheduled hours for being open to the public. Vehicles used are counted, not the number of stops the vehicle makes.
Branch Libraries—Auxiliary units with separate quarters, a permanent basic collection of books, a permanent paid staff, and a regular schedule for opening to the public.
CAGIT—County Adjusted Gross Income Tax
Capital Income—Included is any revenue from any source (local, state, federal, other (gifts, grants, etc.) to be used for major capital expenditures, excluding routine replacement of equipment or furniture. Excluded is carryover from one year to the next.
Capital Operating Expenditures—Includes expenditures from the library’s operating expenditures for improvements and replacement costs for existing furniture or equipment. Also includes all material expenditures for all formats, print and non-print, and may include electronic formats and access.
Capital Outlay—Capital outlay is usually a long-term expense. It may include architectural and/or consultant fees, new buildings, additions, and major equipment purchases. Replacement of equipment or furniture is not included.
Central Building—A single outlet library, or the library building which is the operation center of a multiple outlet library. Usually all processing is centralized here and principal collections are housed here. It is synonymous with main library.
Children’s Programs and Program Attendance—Children are ages 0-14. Children’s program attendance is the count of the audience at all programs for which the primary audience is children and includes adults who attend the program. Attendance at each program is counted separately, even though it may be one of a series.
Circulation—Transactions involving lending items from the library’s collection for use by patrons generally outside the library and includes charging materials manually or electronically. Each renewal is also reported as a circulation transaction.
Circulation Of Children’s Materials As Percent of Total Circulation—This statistic compares the circulation of children’s materials to the total circulation. This item is useful for evaluating library services to children.
Circulation Per Capita—Relates the number of library materials loaned to the number of persons the library serves. It is annual circulation divided by the library’s legal service area population. It indicates the average number of loans made to each resident annually. This output measure may be relevant whenever the size of the materials budget, the size of the collection, or its level of use is an issue.
COIT—County Option Income Tax
Databases—This is the number of databases (local or remote, full-text or not) for which temporary or permanent access rights have been acquired and licenses, each counted individually, even if access to several licenses database products is supported through the same interface (e.g., ProQuest, OCLC FirstSearch). Does NOT include INSPIRE.
Electronic Access Expenditures—Included are expenditures from the library budget associated with access to electronic materials and services. Computer hardware and software used to support library operations, either purchased or leased, including maintenance agreements, are included. Expenditures for equipment used to run information service products when it cannot be separated from the price of the product are included. Expenditures for services provided by national, regional and local bibliographic utilities, networks, consortia and commercial services are included.
Electronic Books ((E-Books) —Digital documents, (including those digitized by the library), licensed or not, where searchable text is prevalent and which can be seen in analogy to a printed book (monograph). Include non-serial government documents. E-books are loaned to users on portable devices (e-book readers) or by transmitting the contents to a user’s personal computer for a limited time. Include e-books held locally and remote e-books for which permanent or temporary access rights have been acquired. Report the number of physical or electronic units, including duplicates, for all outlets. For smaller libraries, if volume data are not available, the number of titles may be counted. E-books packaged together as a unit (e.g., multiple titles on a single e-book reader) and checked out as a unit are counted as one unit. Note: Under this category, report only items the library has selected as part of the collection and made accessible through the library’s Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC).
Electronic Format Expenditures—Included are all operating expenditures for electronic format materials considered part of the collection, whether purchased or leased, such as CD-ROMs, magnetic tapes, and magnetic discs that are designed to be processed by a computer or similar machine. Included are operating expenditures for equipment when the cost is inseparably bundled into the price of the information service product. Excluded are operating expenditures for library system software and microcomputer software used only by the library staff.
Employee Benefits—Benefits provided for employees in addition to salaries and wages paid from the library budget, regardless of whether the benefits are available to all employees. Included are amounts spent for direct benefits including Social Security, retirement, medical insurance, life insurance, disability, tuition reimbursement, unemployment compensation, and workmen’s compensation.
Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)—The total of part-time and full-time employees equated to the number of full-time positions. (Total hours worked divided by the hours in the workweek.) To ensure comparable data, 40 hours per week has been set as the measure of full-time employment by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Federal State Cooperative System (FSCS).
ILL Net Lending Rate—Relates the number of materials loaned to other libraries to the number of materials borrowed from other libraries through interlibrary loan. It is the number of items loaned divided by the number of items borrowed. This output measure is relevant whenever the library’s participation in interlibrary loan activities is an issue. It indicates whether the library does more lending (scoring 1.1 or more) or more borrowing (scoring 0.99 or less). “Net Borrowers” may use this figure as evidence of what they gain from participating, while “Net Lenders” may use it to argue for the maintenance of strong collections.
Interlibrary Loans Provided To—Library materials lent by the reporting library to another library upon request. Materials loaned to a branch are not counted. Photocopies sent by any means, but not returned, are not counted.
Interlibrary Loans Received From—Library materials borrowed by the reporting library from another library. Materials borrowed from a branch are not counted. Photocopies received by any means, but not returned, are not counted.
Library Programs—It is not necessary that a program actually take place at the library to be counted as a library program. A program that is planned, sponsored or carried out by the library staff is a library program. If there is a series of programs, such as story hours, where the same people attend each program, the attendance for each individual program is counted.
Library Visits Per Capita—Relates the number of library visits to the number of persons the library was established to serve. It is attendance at the library during a typical week multiplied by 52 (the number of weeks in a year) divided by the library’s legal service area population. This measure may be estimated by counting the number of persons (excluding library staff) who enter—or, if preferred, leave—the library during a typical week. A typical week is one during which the library is open its regular hours (no holidays) and which is neither extraordinarily busy or slow. Library Visits Per Capita indicates the average number or library visits per person served. It is a better measure of public awareness of the library than Registration Per Capita is. Registration statistics may be out-of-date while attendance statistics reflect actual visits to the library. Used with Reference and Circulation Per Capita, Library Visits Per Capital will help develop an annual profile of library use.
Materials Expenditures As A Percent Of Operating Expenditures—This number relates the amount spent on the library’s collection to what is spent for overall operations. It is the cost of library materials divided by the amount spent for all operating expenses including materials costs. This measure indicates the proportion of the library's operating expenditures designated for materials. This may indicate a library’s commitment to its collection. However, an extremely high figure on this measure can also indicate a library’s lack of commitment to having professionally trained staff.
Materials Expenditures Per Capita—Relates library funds spent on materials for the collection, such as books and periodicals and non-print materials such as audio and videocassettes, to the number of persons the library was established to serve. It is the dollar amount spent for materials divided by the library’s legal service area population. This figure indicates the average cost per person of purchasing (not processing) newly acquired materials. Materials Expenditures Per Capita is relevant whenever the size or usefulness of the collection is an issue. When addressing this, also use other measures that indicate the usefulness of materials such as Circulation Per Capita and ILL Net Lending Rate. It is also important to review Materials Expenditures Per Capita whenever the population of the library’s legal service area changes quickly.
Non-Resident Registered Borrowers—People who have applied for and received borrowing privileges from the reporting library, but who do not pay property taxes for library service in that library district.
Operating Expenditures Per Capita—Relates total library funds spent for specific purposes to the number of persons the library serves. It includes the dollar amount spent on staff, materials, and miscellaneous expenses divided by the library’s legal service area population. This figure approximates the average cost per person of running the library. Operating Expenditures Per Capita may be relevant whenever the efficiency of the library’s overall operation is an issue. The cost-effectiveness of operations may be demonstrated by relating Operating Expenditures Per Capita to those output measures which best reflect the range of most frequently used services and programs the library provides to its users. It is also important to review this measure if the library’s legal service area changes dramatically.
Operating Tax Rate—The library tax rate for local property tax approved one year for collection in the following year.
Other Services and Charges Expenditures—Includes costs for services performed for the library under written or implied contract, by other than employees of the library. Also included are expenditures for utilities, insurance, licenses, rents, tax assessments, and dues to organizations. Includes the amount spent on the repair, maintenance, restoration, or protection of library materials, including but not limited to binding and rebinding, material conversion, deacidification, lamination, and restoration.
Per Capita—Refers to any amount divided by the population of the library district without contract population.
Personal Services Expenditures—Total expenditures for all salaries/wages for all library staff before deductions and including employee benefits.
Personal Services (Staff) Expenditures Per Capita—Relates the amount of library funds spent on staff to the number of persons the library was established to serve. It is the dollar amount paid in salaries, wages, and benefits divided by the library’s legal service area population. This figure indicates the average cost per person of staffing the library. This measure may be relevant whenever the adequacy of library staffing or staff performance are issues. The cost-effectiveness of library services may be demonstrated by relating Staff Expenditures Per Capita to output measures which indicate the amount of service received such as Circulation and Reference Transactions Per Capita. It is also important to review this measure whenever the population of the library’s legal service area grows quickly.
Physical Unit—A physical unit is a book volume, reel, disk, cassette, etc. Items which are packaged together as a unit, e.g. two compact disks, and are generally checked out as a unit, are counted as one physical unit.
Property Tax Income —Includes all tax receipts designated by the community, district, or region and available for operating fund expenditure by the public library
Public Library Access Card (PLAC)—statewide library card which allows an individual to borrow library materials from any public library in Indiana. Books and non-book materials are eligible for loan through the PLAC program, and a library may determine what types of material it may lend. Books that normally circulate are required to be available for loan. An individual who holds a valid public library card may obtain a PLAC. The fee is based on forty percent (40%) of the current average operating fund expenditure per borrower by all eligible public libraries as reported annually by the State Library in the State Library’s annual “Statistics of Indiana Libraries”.
Reference Per Capita—Relates the number of information contacts with a staff member using information sources to the number of persons the library was established to serve. It is the number of reference transactions per typical week multiplied by 52 and divided by the library’s legal service area population. This measure indicates the average number of times a resident of the library’s legal service area received staff assistance in using information sources available at, or accessible through, the library. Reference Per Capita may be relevant whenever the impact of reference service is an issue. Comparing this figure to Circulation Per Capita may be useful in assessing the reference desk as an access point for information available in the local collection.
Reference Transactions—A reference transaction requires knowledge or interpretation by library staff of the library or its materials. It includes information and referral services. A request may come in person, by phone, by FAX, mail or by electronic mail. Directional questions, queries about library policies or library services, activities, or the use of library equipment are not considered reference transactions and are excluded.
Registration As A Percent Of Population—Relates the number of persons registered as borrowers to the number of persons the library is established to serve. It is the number of individual registrations divided by the library’s legal service area population. This measure indicates the percentage of the library’s potential users who have demonstrated intent to borrow materials from the collection. This output measure may be relevant whenever public awareness of the library is called into question. Assuming a library’s registration file is up-to-date, this figure indicates the percentage of potential users who know the library exists and have indicated intent to use it. High Registration Per Capita may also be useful in justifying increases in other measures such as Staff, Materials, and Miscellaneous Expenditures Per Capita.
Resident Registered Borrowers—People who have applied for and received borrowing privileges from the library and live in the library district and are taxed for public library service.
Serial Subscriptions—The number of subscriptions purchased from the library’s budget and those donated to the library as gifts. Each title, including duplicates, is counted, not individual issues. Included is the total number of subscriptions for all outlets.
Total Local Income —Includes all tax and non-tax receipts designated by the community, district, or region and available for operating fund expenditure by the public library. Includes Property Tax Income from the Library Tax Rate, County Adjusted Gross Income Tax (CAGIT),County Option Income Tax (COIT) and contractual revenue received for library service.
Total Materials Expenditures—This includes all expenditures for materials purchased or leased by the library for use by the public. It includes print and non-print materials: microforms, machine-readable materials, audiovisual materials, electronic formats, and electronic access.
Total Operating Expenditures—The sum of Total Personal Services, Total Other Services, Charges, & Supplies, and Total Capital Operating Expenditures.
Total Other Income—Includes fines and fees, interest on investments, gift receipts, private foundation grants, Public Library Access Card (PLAC) and other miscellaneous operating fund revenue listed on Budget Form 2.
Total State Income—Includes State Distribution, Financial Institutions Tax, License Excise Tax, Commercial Vehicle Excise Tax and other state income.
Turnover Rate—Measures the intensity of use of the collection. It is the average annual circulation per physical item held.
Typical Week—A typical week is defined as a time that is neither unusually busy nor unusually slow. Holiday times, vacation periods for key staff, or days when unusual events are taking place in the community or library are avoided. A week in which the library is open its regular hours is chosen. Seven consecutive calendar days, from Sunday through Saturday (or whenever the library is usually open) are chosen.Videos—Materials on which pictures are recorded, with or without sound. Electronic playback reproduces pictures, with or without sound, using a television receiver or monitor. Included are videocassettes, CD-ROM, DVD, and videodisks. . Report the number of physical units, including duplicates. For smaller libraries, if physical unit data are not available, count the number of titles. Items packaged together as a unit (e.g., two videocassettes or DVDs for one movie) and checked out as a unit are counted as one physical unit.