Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Normative Data Project

One project that Steve Abram mentioned on Friday was the Normative Data Project. According to the press release issued in January:
The goals of this cooperative effort are to compile transaction-level data from libraries throughout North America; to link library data with geographic and demographic data on communities served by libraries; and, thereby, to empower library decision-makers to compare and contrast their institutions with real-world industry norms on circulation, collections, finances, and other parameters.
This is a cooperative project between several organizations, including hundreds of public libraries in North America. The organization involved do include Sirsi and the GeoLib Program at Florida State University. Participating libraries do not have to be Sirsi clients.

The web site (which is best viewed in IE or Netscape) contains sample reports with real data that may be useful to you. There are also a couple of case studies, with the one from Huntsville-Madison County Public Library showing how they got into this project and what they have learned from it.

A yearly subscription to the Normative Data Project costs $500 and gives the user unlimited access to the database.

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