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. This is especially true for West Hampstead and Swiss Cottage Libraries which were closed or partially closed for a part of the period under review. The Library Performance graphs provide a powerful method for judging the effectiveness of individual libraries and of the overall Library Service. However, for completeness, other criteria need to be addressed and we hope that these can be included in the future.

From the first quarter of 2002, Camden has 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. Thus, a means of assessing the level of success of the programme has to be welcome. This is especially so when computer replacement is considered.


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