This blog represents most of the newspaper columns (appearing in various Colorado Community Newspapers and Yourhub.com) written by me, James LaRue, during the time in which I was the director of the Douglas County Libraries in Douglas County, Colorado. (Some columns are missing, due to my own filing errors.) This blog covers the time period from April 11, 1990 to January 12, 2012.

Unless I say so, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They may be quoted elsewhere, so long as you give attribution. The dates are (at least according my records) the dates of publication in one of the above print newspapers.

The blog archive (web view) is in chronological order. The display of entries, below, seems to be in reverse order, new to old.

All of the mistakes are of course my own responsibility.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

February 20 , 2002 - Operating Report on Library's Web Site

Lately, when someone applies for a job with us, they seem remarakably well-informed about what’s going on in the Douglas Public Library District.

For example, they commend us on our circulation growth. They praise the deliberations of our Library Board of Trustees. They express amazement at the sheer volume of programs we offer each month. They speak with insight about some of the issues we and our communities are grappling with.

From whence do they gain their knowledge?

Answer: our library website (www.dpld.org). In addition to the usual links to various electronic resources, our website offers a couple of other major sections that say quite a lot about both our external and internal operating environment: "Your Community," and "About Us."

There was a time when the historical record even of public institutions was more or less hidden. You had to go there. You had to know what kinds of records were maintained, and where. No more.

Now it’s all right there, accessible to you even in the middle of the night, from the comfort of your own home.

"Your Community" includes links to local newspapers, including the columns written by library staff. It also has a section on the Library Board, which as of last year, also includes the minutes of Board meetings.

Another section of our website is "About Us." This features, among other things, a statistical report for last year. Assembled and analyzed by Rochelle Logan, Associate Director for Support Services, this report is worth a short summary here.

* The year 2000 marked a milestone for the District in achieving circulation of over two million for the first time. In 2001 we reached 2,650,638 for an increase of 31.67% over 2000.

* Individual branch circulation performance was:
· Roxborough +75%
· Highlands Ranch +32%
· Lone Tree +16%
· Philip S. Miller +12%
· Cherry Valley +11%
· Louviers +10%
· Parker +9%

* While we saw big jumps in various audiovisual formats, consider these increases in the area of young adult print materials: hardback fiction up 38% over last year, paperback fiction up 55%, biography up 177%, and nonfiction up 183%. Good news!

* Our largest single category of use is children’s fiction: 34%. Next is adult non-fiction (18% of all checkouts). Third is videos (14%).

* The volume of reference questions responded to by our staff was another area of significant growth: up 23% over last year district-wide.

* Programs offered by the district grew rapidly. We doubled the number of adult programs, and pulled in almost 5,000 people to them. Programming also increased for youth: both young adults, and children.

* Almost two million people walked through our doors last year.

But back to that website. An average of 8,430 unique visitors viewed an average of 99,830 library web pages per month. At this point, our website has become a sort of "virtual branch," an alternate service location for a new kind of library use.

Too often, these days, we read in the paper about all kinds of cover-ups. Many government sources of information are drying up, vanishing from public review due to a new concern for security.

Much is made of the falsified or hidden financial data concerning such companies as Enron.

I'm pleased that your public library, while not responsible for national security, nor the custodian of your 401 (k) retirement funds, still conducts its business right out in the open, where even the average citizen can see what's going on.

No comments:

Post a Comment