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Post-conference, Montreal, Statistic and Evaluation Section PRESENTATION OF NORWEGIAN INDICATORS Trine Kolderup Flaten Library Director, Bergen Public.

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Presentation on theme: "Post-conference, Montreal, Statistic and Evaluation Section PRESENTATION OF NORWEGIAN INDICATORS Trine Kolderup Flaten Library Director, Bergen Public."— Presentation transcript:

1 Post-conference, Montreal, Statistic and Evaluation Section PRESENTATION OF NORWEGIAN INDICATORS Trine Kolderup Flaten Library Director, Bergen Public Library Bergen, Norway

2 The Norwegian Archive, Library and Museum Authority, established in 2003 as ABM-utvikling (ABM) collects the official library statistics. Library statistics are included in the Statistics Norway "Statistisk sentralbyrå" (SSB). ABM authority was a merger of the former Norwegian Directorate for Public Libraries and the former National Office for Research Documentation, Academic and Special Libraries. They reported respectively to Ministry of Culture and Church Affairs and Ministry of Education and Research. ABM should work for closer relationship between the two sectors.

3 Different or similar indicators and statistics for both sectors? Academic-, research and special libraries have to meet a set of quality standards that are required for their mother institutions, including up-to-date library service. All kinds of library services have changed the last decade. New indicators are needed, also for public libraries. Many users, especially young adults, students, visit both public and academic libraries simultaneously, This - and a lot of other reasons - indicate implementing the same indicators for the two library sectors, - to have a more complete picture of all library resources available, and all public spending on libraries.

4 National Statistics and KOSTRA In 2003 ABM started to work with an advisory group on indicators for both academic, research, special and public libraries. The initiative coincided with a vigorous pull, from 2002 on, from the Statistics Norway, SSB, and the State Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development to improve thoroughly the data reported from the local administrations. The new system was called KOSTRA (Kommune-stat-rapportering), Local government/Municipality-State-Reporting.

5 Benchmarking in the municipalities This was furthered by 2/3 of the Norwegian municipalities, forming "The efficiency improvement networks" for benchmarking. They mapped and analysed productivity, availability, measured quality (professional) and user satisfaction, evaluated their own improvement areas, planned and carried out measures within schools, nursing and care, social services, child care, etc. This aroused a new and keen interest in data and statistics as basis for priorities, reorganisation, etc.from politicians and administrative staff.

6 The libraries are also included in KOSTRA. More emphasis on costs than the libraries are used to. Public libraries, used to consistent mapping and data-collection, have also experienced municipal benchmarking on rather unreliable basis. The KOSTRA-system has improved fast. Timeliness is excellent. Raw-data from the previous year are collected in February, published in March, and revised in June. The municipalities have great confidence in this system. KOSTRA recommends how to calculate challenging financial items, and soon one will have comparable financial data in most fields. One example: cost/value of buildings, premises, sports installations, grounds, etc. have been calculated differently from one municipality to another. Such costs may cover from % of the public libraries' gross budget. For library managers it is important to identify these costs before comparing with others.

7 ABM and the official library statistics Newest draft version of indicators is from Advisory group - adjustments in Public Library Statistics 2007 size of the libraries user area, number of active borrowers (per year). For 2008: several new data on digital collections, the use of them, downloads, etc. will be collected, (like those from Academic and Research Libraries).

8 Autumn 2007 ABM announced an open invitation for interested libraries to form two working groups, one for each type of libraries. The task was: "Benchmarking by the use of result- and development-indicators", work on tools for evaluation and quality management, put these into practical use in the participants' own institutions. Benchmarking with similar libraries should be carried out.

9 A challenge: to find useful indicators to cover the service/goal set up by mother institutions or municipalities in diverse service declarations. To map user satisfaction is a challenge for public libraries, who serve more than half the population, and surveys, questionnaires etc. will usually cover a random and very small selection of users. Users are often too pleased, for whatever service they get.

10 Statistics can't tell the whole truth The national library statistics have definite limitations for deeper insight in trends and interesting phenomena. In recent years several research- and other studies have added valuable information to the general statistics. In my library, Bergen Public Library (second largest Norwegian city) the interest in performance measurement, analyses, etc. has lead to initiative or partnership in several studies. One of these studies was based on pure statistics available from the library system – investigating year olds library habits. The other one used observation as method.

11 Visitors and borrowers - who are they? Who are asking for the libraries services, and who are the non-users? These are crucial questions for every library. Visitors can be counted, but gender and age are difficult to register. Borrowers can be counted and their loans analysed up and down. Are visitors and borrowers mostly the same persons? Difficult to tell - but a fresh study in the 5 largest public libraries in Norway indicates that they may be, with some clear exceptions.

12 Norwegian public libraries have about 5 library-visitors per inh., but there are great regional and other disparities. From 2005 to 2007 the number of visitors sank - while the use of internet in private homes increased immensely. Significant differences between smaller and larger libraries: Smaller ones seems to have a high percentage of children, up to 60%, a good deal adults and fewer young people. In the larger libraries the picture is more like Bergen Public Library. We find it very useful to keep an eye on borrowers distributed by age groups:

13 In Bergen over 80% of the inh. are registered borrowers, and more than 30% of the inh. used their library card last year. Young people, age , are the most frequent borrowers in Bergen, as in other larger cities in Norway too.

14 "FRITT VALG", (Free choice), a project based on library statistics alone, investigated the preferences of youngsters years, regarding library use: Do they borrow novels, videos, cartoons, video,- Are they preferring books for adults or for children…etc? How many young people use/borrow at the library? Is use decreasing or increasing as they grow older? Have boys and girls different preferences for type of material? Differences in use between cities and rural areas? Figures from 96 municipal libraries (2004), covering 30% of Norway's population, show that 52% in the age group 11 – 17 are active borrowers. The boys use is decreasing as they grow older, girls use increase years-old are also frequent borrowers. In these 96 libraries 32,2 % of the total amount of inhabitants are active borrowers.

15 A fresh study of user-behaviour in 5 large public libraries We know how many visitors we have, but what are they doing while they are in the library? Methodically challenging: based on observation of a large number of persons. Inspired by a Danish study (2004), from 30 smaller public libraries. In 2006 Århus Public Library conducted a similar observation. The Norwegian study added two questions to those were observed: one on the users' age, the other on their mother tongue. The observations were done last autumn, report finished April The outcome seemed to be rather reliable, and showed concurrence with our statistics for loans and returns, etc.


17 And what are users doing in addition to borrowing/returning material - compared to those who do not borrow/return:

18 The results from Århus and the Norwegian main libraries were concurrent. There are interesting differences between the group of 30 smaller libraries and the larger ones in Denmark and Norway. Back to Active borrowers distributed by agegroups (Bergen). We find the same pattern when visitors are distributed by age groups:


20 Virtual libraries, collections and services are - when it comes to statistics - still rather new and challenging fields for our profession. To map visits, users, user behaviour, navigation, "collections", services, promotion, etc. for web-services is an important task just now. The renewed and keen interest in "Libraries as places" is encouraging. We have to keep an eye on how and why people use the physical library. More studies should be performed in a variety of libraries, and compared and analysed. This is another important task just now.

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