Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Do Uses of Downloadable Content Offset Circulation Decreases?

DPI first collected data about uses of downloadable content (e-book, e-audio, and e-video) in the public library annual report for FY 2010, so comparing combined uses of e-content and total circulation between 2010 and 2011 is less meaningful than for subsequent years. Still, we have enough data for initial examination.

Number of libraries where total circulation increased30520616414710462
Number of libraries where total circulation decreased < 2%4552434036
Number of libraries where uses of down­loadable content offset circulation decreases233421
Number of libraries where: a) uses of down­loadable content offset circulation decreases; and b) circulation decreased < 2%233019

In 2014 relatively few libraries had enough uses of downloadable content to offset their decrease in total circulation. The libraries that did have enough uses were primarily those with less than two percent decreases in circulation. The increase in combined circulation and uses of downloadable content ranged from 11 uses (Jane Morgan Memorial Library) to 8,967 (Madison Public Library).

We also haven't seen a trend in offsets for multiple years. No library has offset its circulation decreases for three years in a row. Three offset their decreases in 2012 and 2013, and two other libraries did in 2013 and 2014.

Do uses of downloadable content offset circulation decreases? The magic data 8 ball says "don't count on it."

These are the 21 libraries libraries where uses of downloadable content offset circulation decreases from 2013 to 2014:

Combined Total Circulation and Uses of Downloadable Content
Amery Public Library104,999105,649650 (0.62%)
Beaver Dam Community Library398,540401,0732,533 (0.64%)
Burlington Public Library217,964218,589625 (0.29%)
Calhoun Memorial Library46,34948,7032,354 (5.08%)
Cameron Public Library25,13225,828696 (2.77%)
Durand Community Library29,45529,612157 (0.53%)
Eckstein Memorial Library15,37815,565187 (1.22%)
Hauge Memorial Library25,50825,53022 (0.09%)
Iola Village Library48,40648,601195 (0.40%)
Jane Morgan Memorial Library29,37529,38611 (0.04%)
Karl Junginger Memorial Library42,31542,892577 (1.36%)
Madeline Island Public Library10,59010,63040 (0.38%)
Madison Public Library4,037,0924,046,0598,967 (0.22%)
Minocqua Public Library180,932181,650718 (0.40%)
Muscoda Public Library21,02521,05227 (0.13%)
New London Public Library139,532141,1431,611 (1.15%)
Presque Isle Community Library13,17513,409234 (1.78%)
Ripon Public Library157,076158,2171,141 (0.73%)
Sheboygan Falls Memorial Library136,915138,2251,310 (0.96%)
Shell Lake Public Library47,01647,589573 (1.22%)
Spooner Memorial Library113,934114,202268 (0.24%)

If you have any questions about the data used to write this blog post, please feel free to contact me at

Written by Jamie McCanless, Public Library Development Team