LIBRARY PERFORMANCE MONITORING
The Travers Report of February 2000 into Camden's Library Service identified three criteria to be used as a method for judging the effectiveness of the Library Service. These were cost per loan from the libraries, cost per visitor to the libraries and user satisfaction
The Camden Library Service is now monitoring, on a regular basis, several performance indicators. Included within these are the number of issues from its libraries and the number of visitors to those libraries. These are, of course, major elements of the first two effectiveness criteria.
The Library Performance graphs included in each Camden library web page are derived from data generated by the library monitoring activity. Quarterly figures have been used, rather than monthly ones, to provide a degree of averaging. Caution should be used in assessing the performance trends of any of the libraries as extraneous influences, such as closure for refurbishment, can have a marked effect on the selected performance indicators.
Camden is slowly refurbishing all its public libraries, so a sudden dip and recovery in an individual librarys performance has to be expected. Of great interest is the performance after the refurbishment closure. So far, there has been no noticeable pay-back in improved performance. Kilburn Library is an extreme version of the refurbishment exercise. Here, the library was moved from an old, purpose-build building, tucked away in a back street, to a busy high street location. There was an immediate, dramatic improvement in performance. However, the usual Camden trends were soon re-established - see below.
From the first quarter of 2002 to the first quarter of 2005, Camden included
public computer usage in its library statistics. A large amount of government
money has been invested in the Camden public access computers with the intention
of encouraging computer literacy. A means of assessing the level of success
of the programme is therefore important and the renewed collection of this
data in 2008 has to be welcomed.
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