Archive for the ‘ISO’ Category

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.

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ST 12/12: Strange visits

August 22, 2012

The experts that produced ISO standard 11620:2008 have suggested that libraries should measure visits per capita as follows

  • The total number of visits to the library, either physical or virtual, during a full year divided by the total number of persons in the population to be served.
  • For the purpose of this performance indicator, a visit is the act of entering the library premises or accessing the library’s website in order to use one of the services provided by the library.

At the moment I am not aware of single library that has actually accepted this recommendation. The lack of implementation is easy to understand. The proposal is hard to grasp. The reason is simple. Most people experience and conceptualize physical and virtual visits as different types of entities. (more…)