2006 - 2011 Statistical Data for Virginia Public Libraries
Circulation Per Capita
Circulation Per Capita is a measure of the community's use of the library. It can be thought of a representing the average number of items checked out in a year by each member of the community. A high number on this measure indicates heavy use of the library's circulating materials. A low number may indicate several things. For Example: 1) the library's collection may not meet the community's needs or interest; 2) residents may be unaware of the library's resources; 3) the library may have an extensive collection of noncirculating materials.
Expenditures Per Capita
Expenditures Per Capita reflects the community's financial support for the library in relation to its size. However, operating expenditures (personnel, collections, and general operations) from other sources such as state aid and grants are included. Capital expenditures that vary dramatically from year to year are not included.
Holdings Per Capita
Holdings Per Capita is one measure of the match between the size of the library's collection and the community it serves. It assesses collection size, not quality. This measure should be interpreted in connection with Turnover Rate and Circulation Per Capita. Size alone is not an indicator of quality or usefulness.
Library Visits Per Capita
Library Visits Per Capita is one measure of the community's use of the library, whether for materials, programs, or meetings. It can be thought of as representing the average number of times during a year that each member of the community uses the library. A high number of visits indicates heavy use. A low number of visits may indicate several things. For example, the hours the library is open does not fit the needs of the community; 2) the library's collection and programming does not meet the interest or needs of the community; 3) residents may be unaware of what the library has to offer; 4) the facility may be uninviting; 5) the location may be inconvenient.
Turnover Rate measures the use of the library's circulating collection. It indicates the number of times each item would have circulated during the year if circulation had been spread evenly throughout the collection. A library that emphasizes the circulation of popular reading materials should have a higher turnover rate than a library that emphasizes the breadth of its collection and has an extensive noncirculating reference collection.