Friday, 12 October 2007

Bottom of the league

Tim Coates has been publishing league tables of public libraries based on the average number of loans per resident. He is using the 2005-6 CIPFA statistics.

His choice of this statistic is itself at the heart of Tim's polemic about what libraries should be all about and many librarians reject this as the central indicator of our achievements. However, it can't be an insignificant indicator of how well we are doing and the news for our are is not good.

For the Metropolitan authorities in our area the results are:

Sheffield 4.8 17th
Doncaster 4.6 21st
Leeds 4.1 28th
Rotherham 4.0 29th
Wakefield 3.6 33rd
Barnsley 3.4 36th

Rankings are out of 36.

For the Counties
Lincolnshire 5.7 22nd
Derbyshire 5.6 28th

Rankings out of 34.

For comparison, the top three ranking authorities are Shetland (8.8), Orkney (8.7) and Southend (8.1). The bottom four are Camden, Stoke on Trent and Inverclyde all on 3.0 and Lambeth on 2.7.

So not very good for our area when compared with what other libraries can achieve. Sheffield just makes it into the top half of the table, everyone else is firmly in the bottom half if not the bottom quarter of their table. There are probably a host of very "good" reasons for this poor showing and most of them will be outside the control of the library staff but the fact remains that a lot of other library authorities do better than us on this particular indicator. The positive customer feedback they I commented on before is very encouraging but are people's expectations of the service too low?

1 comment:

Sheila Webber said...

The photo made me smile!