PEERS by Jon Walker
Our goal at the Pueblo City-County Library District (PCCLD) is simple. We aim to provide the best possible public library service for our community. We work diligently to track our progress toward this end. One way we do this is comparing PCCLD with peer institutions.
An important yardstick is looking to those public libraries in Colorado, which, like PCCLD, serve larger populations. The Library Research Service (LRS) recently revealed new annual statistics that helps with this. It is part of their Colorado Public Library Annual Report (www.lrs.org), and includes research results and statistics for public libraries throughout the state. PCCLD’s outcomes fared quite well in this analysis.
There are thirteen public libraries in Colorado serving populations greater than 100,000 people. These are, in addition to PCCLD, the Arapahoe Library District, Aurora Public Library, Boulder Public Library, Denver Public Library, Douglas County Libraries, High Plains Library District, Jefferson County Public Library, Mesa County Public Library, Pikes Peak Library District, Poudre River Public Library District, Rangeview Library District, and Westminster Public Library.
Public libraries account for many facets of their service. A helpful guide to what is most important among these is provided by Library Journal, which, working in concert with the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the National Center for Educational Statistics, has consistently touted four key measures as critical in determining the success of public libraries’ overall community engagement. These are the number of (1) library visits, (2) circulation, (3) program attendance, and (4) public Internet computer usage. Library Journal uses these to determine its annual Index of Public Library Service that ranks public libraries across the nation (http://lj.libraryjournal.com/stars-faq/).
LRS released data recently for Colorado libraries for calendar year 2015 for each of these four key measures. We can refer to this study to compare PCCLD with the other large Colorado public libraries. When we do so, this is what we find.
PCCLD ranks second in the state in circulation per capita when compared with its peers.
The news is even brighter with visits per capita to our local public libraries. In this category, PCCLD ranks number one among its Colorado peers.
PCCLD also does well with regard to program attendance per capita. Our local libraries are first among peers statewide.
Finally, in computer use, PCCLD also is doing quite well. PCCLD is third among its thirteen Colorado peers in this category.
PCCLD strives to provide the best possible library service for our community. The most recent annual data from LRS ranks PCCLD number one in two of the most important public library measures, and number two and three of thirteen libraries in the other two key categories. This confirms that PCCLD is quite successful in achieving great results.
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