Author Archive

ST 4/13: IFLA key initiatives

July 31, 2013

IFLA has chosen five Key Initiatives for its Strategic Plan 2010 – 2015.

The two first are broad in scope.

The Digital Content Programme responds to the global transition from print to digital media. IFLA specifies four topics:

  1. digital legal deposit – with a focus on legislative certainty for deposit and library user access
  2. digital lending – with a focus on library user access to e-resources, and inter-organisation/cross-border uses compatible with fair practice
  3. mass digitisation – with a focus on IFLA facilitating information exchange for the library sector
  4. digital preservation – with a focus on legal mechanisms for harvesting and preserving born digital information and local content hosted on websites and in social media



ST 3/13: Statistics training in Romania

June 14, 2013

The second SFA course this year will be held in Brasov in late June. The final program has just been published.

Picture: girl from Maramures

Statistics for library director

Braşov, 24-25 of June, 2013, Auditorium of „Transilvania” University

The course is presented by Mr. Tord Høivik, Associate Professor (emeritus) at Oslo and Akershus University College for Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway, Secretary of IFLA Statistics and Evaluation Section

The purpose of this course is to presents methods of collecting data and use of statistics in order to create useful tools for library management and to obtain financial support for library activities. The course is organized by Romanian Library Association and the IFLA Statistics and Evaluation Section, as part of IFLA’s BSLA program.


ST 2/13: Statistics workshop in South Africa

April 11, 2013

Picture: group work at the 2012 LATINA training course, at Makerere University Library.

African libraries need statistics to plan their work and to promote their standing.

This year The International Association of Academic and Technical Libraries meets in Cape Town. The convener, Elisha Chiware, is the Director of Cape Peninsula University of Technology Libraries. After the main IATUL conference (April 14-18) there will be a workshop on library statistics to

  • encourage the collection of statistics for benchmarking,
  • improve the collection of statistics in African libraries,
  • develop a basis for regional cooperation and activity
  • and to create an awareness of the various options available 

Elisha was also the regional expert from Africa when IFLA developed guidelines for the Statistics for Advocacy training course, at a workshop in the Hague in late 2009.



ST 1/13: The Edge initiative

April 8, 2013

Systematic library assessment is on the move. The Edge Initiative shows US entrepreneurship at its best.

The initiative was launched in 2011 by a coalition of library and local government organizations, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The goal is to develop a suite of tools that support continuous improvement and reinvestment in public technology. Thia approach was probably inspired by the Gates Foundation, which has always emphasized evidence-based planning and assessment.

Edge is developing a rating system comprised of benchmarks and indicators designed to work as an assessment tool – will help library staff understand best practices in public access technology services for their communities and determine what steps they need to take to improve their technology services.

The whole system looks very well designed: balanced, clear and comprehensive. The instrument has been developed for a US context, but the basic approach could well be a model for similar initiatives in other countries.


ST 18/12: Statistics for advocacy in Poland

October 12, 2012

I am happy to note that the first Statistics for Advocacy course in Poland was held on 25th September 2012.

Lovely Masuria: lakes and forests …

Joanna Burska from Olsztyn County Library reports that there were 12 participants (directors and persons involved in statistic works) from public libraries in Warmia and Mazury region.

The materials were translated into Polish in late 2011, with financial support fram SES/IFLA. Joanna is now working on the final version of materials with comments after first course. It will then be published on the net as you suggested. She adds:

I hope that demand for statistical training will be increasing in Poland and in my region (as in Norway). Problem is that librarians are still not aware enough that numbers are favourable arguments. I am convinced that it will change soon and course will be very important for librarians.


ST 17/12: Visitor statistics

September 20, 2012

Useful library statistics depend on standardization.

If two libraries define concepts like book, loan, visit and reference questions in different ways, they will be counting different entities. Their statistical data will not be comparable. The same applies to countries that use different definitions.

Two international standards are central for librarians. ISO standard 2789 – on international library statistics – defines the basic concepts involved in statistical observation, counting and measurement.


ST 16/12: IFLA Dialogue

August 28, 2012

Opening statement from the IFLADIAL Working Group

On Saturday, August 11, at the very start of the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2012 in Helsinki, all Section officers – including Special Interest Groups’ Convenors – were invited to the Leadership Brief arranged by the Professional Committee (PC). There was great interest in this meeting – the room was full at 8AM.

The formal agenda had four information items; the final point was devoted to “questions and discussion”. Many of the participants clearly wanted a more participatory meeting, and said so during the debate.

ST 15/12: Bibliotecas publicas en Chile

August 26, 2012

Las estadísticas sobre las bibliotecas de Chile se estan desarrollando año por año.


  • Total Bibliotecas Públicas*: 458
  • Bibliotecas Centrales: 424
  • Bibliotecas Filiales: 34


ST 14/12: IFLA report on Norwegian statistics

August 25, 2012

It is surprisingly difficult to collect and present comparative international statistics in a way that is useful and meaningful for the user.

ST 13/12: A fair amount of traffic

August 23, 2012

The average traffic to this blog hovers around four to five hundred hits per month.

About sixteen thousand pages have been downloaded since we started three years ago: a little more than two hundred hits per blog post.

August tends to be the hottest month. The traffic statistics provided by WordPress get better all the time. Now we can also see the geographic locations of our visitors.