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He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Monday, January 19, 2004

On the Job

I hope you dern guvmint employees are enjoying your day off--private religious schools don't tend to celebrate MLK day, so I'm working at the library. A long time ago I mentioned having a "Great West Texas Bibliographic Shootout," comparing the circ stats of books requested by faculty with those of books I ordered on my own initiative. Now that I've been here a year I figured I'd start compiling those statistics by subject area.

Round 1: Art

This is a one-on-one competition because our art department has only a single professor, Dr. C. K. In FY 2002-2003 she requested 27 books and I ordered an additional 12. Her books received a total of 8 circs, mine a total of 7. Thus my per-book circulation was 0.58, hers 0.30. Ha! In your face, Dr. K.! What's more, the item with the most individual circulations, Hartt's History of Italian Renaissance Art,, was one of my selections. Yay for the librarian!

Gloating aside, those seem like pretty low circ stats on both sides of the contest. We spent $2,000 on those books and they were used (as far as we can tell) about 20 times (including in-house use). $100 per use. Of course these are permanent additions to our collection so they will receive the occasional use in years to come; still, these figures make me a little pessimistic about the value for money of academic libraries.


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