Library Total Monthly Circulation
Target: 850,000 materials circulated per month; 10,200,000 materials circulated per year
Status: MEETING TARGET
Result: 10,778,338 materials circulated
Circulation is a measure of the number of physical and electronic library materials circulated to the public each month. It includes branch and main libraries, and virtual materials through the Library’s website. Library circulation is an important measure of utilization throughout the system.
AVERAGE TOTAL MONTHLY CIRCULATION OF MATERIALS IS ABOVE GOAL
How Public Library is Performing
Total monthly circulation of both physical and electronic materials for fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 has remained near target. Average circulation from July 2015 to June 2016 was 898,195, compared to average circulation of 889,182 from July 2014 to June 2015.
eBOOKS AND eMEDIA CONTINUE TO REPRESENT AN INCREASING SHARE OF TOTAL CIRCULATION
The Library is undertaking a number of strategic initiatives to maintain the robustness of physical and digital collections in order to meet residents’ demand for books, periodicals, music and video content. The FY 2016-17 budget for Library collections will add $1.3 million for a 10 percent increase in the Library’s collections allocation, allowing for a 3 percent increased investment in print materials and a 29 percent increased investment in eCollections. These investments are representative of the increased demand for digital content with stable demand for physical collections.
Overall, circulation has declined by 4.4 percent over a three-year period from FY 2012-13 to FY 2014-15. This decline is largely due to decreased patron demand for physical collections, as reading habits and information seeking behavior changes with technology. Due to the proliferation of computers, tablets, and smart phones, patrons now rely on increased access to digital content and online resources. Circulation of eBooks and eMedia (e.g., downloadable audiobooks, streaming movies and music, and digital magazines) has increased by 129 percent in the past two years. In FY 2012-13, electronic materials comprised 5 percent of overall circulation. By FY 2015-16, they comprised 17 percent of total circulation.
Library circulation peaked in FY 2012 after a majority of the Branch Library Improvement Program (BLIP) projects were completed. Consistent with the experience of urban libraries around the country, the San Francisco Public Library has seen a gradual trend of reduced patron demand for physical materials, resulting in an ongoing decrease in the circulation of physical collections.
How Performance is Measured
Circulation statistics are generated from the Library’s automated circulation system. Reports are generated on a monthly basis.
The number displayed on the scorecard page represents a fiscal year average of the values in the total monthly circulation chart above.
Please visit DataSF for the scorecard data.