The Numbers Game: Why Library Statistics are Important

Sep 13, 2023


Throughout the year, you will be called upon to provide different library statistics for a variety of reasons. Whatever numbers you need and why, being able to retrieve them easily and quickly is crucial.

Circulation Stats

Knowing how many checkouts and active library users you have can help you show how important you are to your community or organization. Saying that your library is busy is one thing, but having those numbers as proof will go a long way in showing your library’s impact.

Usage Data 

It’s important to know how often items are used, and what types of items are popular. In addition to checkouts and renewals, counting in-library use is helpful for items that don’t leave the library, such as reference materials. In-house use can also track items that patrons don’t check out but read or use during their visit. This data will give you a fuller picture of how your collection meets your patrons’ needs.


In order to add new materials to your collection, it is sometimes necessary to discard older or seldom-used resources. Reports that list items that haven’t circulated or been used during a time period can assist you in making those decisions.

Subjects and Call Number Ranges 

Another task that statistics makes easier is seeing what subject areas your library has a good variety of resources on, and what areas need to be addressed when purchasing new materials. This data is commonly collected during diversity audits, for example.


The ability to quickly gather accurate statistics on different areas of library operations is one of the most valuable tools available to librarians. With those numbers, you will be able to more effectively prove your value and develop your collection.

About Surpass 

Surpass Cloud is the easy-to-use, cloud-based library management system for libraries of all types and sizes. Whether you’re a school, church, museum, business, or any other organization with resources to lend, Surpass is likely a good fit for you. We pride ourselves on being affordable and flexible, with an expert support team ready to help you at a moment’s notice.


Schedule a free demo to see Surpass in action


Related Articles

Patron Notices

Patron Notices

Introduction Whether it’s by email, text, or paper, libraries need to send notices to patrons....