Collection Turnover Buzz

There's been a lot of buzz about several of the "new" topics presented in our latest "Creating a Thriving 21st Century Library" training session. We're excited because, if you don't already know it, Rob and I love to stir things up and get people thinking about the possibilities and future of libraries.

One of the topics we've had a ton of questions about is turnover reporting. Many of you have said that you aren't familiar with turnover analysis.

Turnover Rate = Circulation / Volumes Held

Turnover relates to the number of materials checked out to the size of the collection. It indicates how often each item in the collection was lent and therefore is relevant to use of the collection. Turnover analysis is a very effective way to analyze areas of your overall collection to keep a close eye on overall collection, genre, and format trends and shifts.

To make things easier, please feel free to use the Turnover Spreadsheet that I created. Note that you'll have to modify your collection names/types based on your library. Overall, it's pretty straightforward. Try doing this for 2010 and then do another at the end of the year for 2011.

Ideal turnover rate vary depending on the type of collection but, as a rule of thumb, any collections below a 2.0 are the ones you should concentrate on first and foremost. Anything below a 4.0 should also be closely analyzed.

Once you weed and re-think your collection based on the data, run a turnover report every 6 months or so. And, don't forget about re-thinking how your merchandise your collections too!

Click here for a complete PDF of the latest version of our workshop, Creating a Thriving 21st Century Library.

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