CHICAGO – June 25, 2005 – Today at the 2005 Annual Conference of the American Library Association, the Normative Data Project (NDP) for Libraries announced that its new online interface is available to the library community, providing library leaders and other interested parties access to unique data, graphs, and reports on libraries throughout North America. NDP is sponsored by Sirsi Corporation in cooperation with the GeoLib Program at Florida State University. Libraries that contributed transaction- and collection-level data to the NDP now have access to NDP; decision-makers from other libraries can also now subscribe to NDP data and resources online at www.libraryndp.info. NDP empowers library decision-makers to compare and contrast their institutions with real-world industry norms – like circulation, collections, finances, and other parameters – by compiling transaction-level data from libraries and linking library data with geographic and demographic data on communities served by libraries. Subscribers to NDP receive access to the following resources:
- Collections and holdings data by library outlets (individual library buildings)
- Transaction-level data on circulation by outlets
- Library outlet market areas (LOMA), using geographic information systems (GIS) mapping to collect neighborhood demographics
- Census data on pre-set market areas surrounding libraries
- National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) version of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) public library system data
- NCES rank order tables, even before NCES publishes them
- NCES State Summary data
- Sample reports that show tables and charts reporting on aspects of NDP libraries' collections and their uses
Incorporating easy-to-use drag-and-drop technology for creating reports, the NDP interface allows subscribers to customize their own "dashboards," or workspace view, where they can save reports and charts of particular interest and value to them. NDP provides one-click access from any library listed on a report to the corresponding GIS market maps for every public library outlet in the United States - as well as to the corresponding demographic data.
In 2006, NDP will include transaction, geographic, and demographic data from 2,500 North American libraries, serving over 50 million users involved in more than 500 million transactions annually.
"The Normative Data Project is something old and something new," said Bob Molyneux, PhD., chief statistician for NDP. "On the one hand, it fits within the long literature of library use studies by such as Fussler and Simon and Line and Sandison, researchers who tried to figure out how libraries are used. As important to this question as modern integrated library systems are, the necessary technology to store the huge amounts of data from many libraries for long periods of time came only recently. In this aspect, the NDP will allow us to analyze use data as never before."
"But NDP is more than a big new collection of library data because it contains more than just library data," continued Molyneux. "It has data from a number of sources integrated tightly with the library data. Focused databases, such as NDP, which bring together data from a variety of sources, are greater than the sum of their parts because they make it possible to expose relationships that were otherwise not obvious. It is impossible to know what surprising data we'll uncover and what influential analysis we'll arrive at, but it will be exciting."
"GeoLib's partnership with NDP brings the value of geographic data for library planning to the forefront," said Christie Koontz, PhD., director of the GeoLib project at Florida State University. "The U.S. Public Library Geographic Database (PLGDB), located at http://www.geolib.org/PLGDB.cfm, is a good first-cut tool for asking dynamic 'what if' questions, such as 'What if my library closed, what are the demographics of the people in the neighborhood served and who would be most affected?' Used in conjunction with the NDP product, library managers can not only identify customer demographics, but also what services and materials they value and need. The partnership with Sirsi facilitates the PLGDB mission, which is to continue providing standardized planning data to librarians, researchers, and policymakers, throughout the U.S."
GeoLib is a research program of the Florida Resources and Environmental Analysis Center (FREAC), which is within the Institute of Science and Public Affairs (ISPA) at The Florida State University (FSU). GeoLib's mission is twofold: first, to improve access to digital geographic information for library planning; and, second, to apply marketing research theories in solving real-world library problems. The program's Web site (www.geolib.org) displays easy-to-use geographic information of relevance, as well as library planning information for wide audiences such as library researchers, librarians, and policymakers. GeoLib is supported by professionals from many disciplines experienced in creatively solving problems using advanced computing resources and geographic information systems. Many work within the university and institute, while others are experts from the public and private sector.
Founded in 1979, Sirsi Corporation develops, sells, and supports a comprehensive integrated suite of software solutions for meeting the information management and sharing needs of libraries and library users around the world. From the open, evolutionary integrated library system technology in the Sirsi Unicorn Library Management System... to leading-edge data analysis and intelligence tools in Sirsi Director's Station... to leading-edge solutions such as Sirsi Rooms 2.0 for library users seeking unparalleled access to the world of knowledge... Sirsi and its partners provide the broadest array of information management products and services for the library community. Sirsi solutions serve more than 10,000 libraries in the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. For more information about Sirsi, please see www.sirsi.com.