One thought on the Yelm Library situation (not really any more regional than other libraries)

This is the first of a few posts responding to Friday’s article in the Nisqually Valley News on the Yelm library situation.

The Yelm Library is no more a regional library than any other library in Timberland. Each library serves residents outside their immediate community boundaries.

Mayor Harding specifically cites Rainier and Tenino as not providing”regional” service.  But, if you take the number of visitors for each library (in 2008) and put in relation to the city’s population (a way to figure out a rate of out of city users) you see Yelm really isn’t all that regional.

Monday morning note: I changed the spreadsheet above to make what I’m talking about clearer. Basically, I took the number of visitors to each building annually in 2008 and divided it by the population of the local community. That data is based on this larger spreadsheet produced by TRL.

Yelm’s rate is about 25 visits per city resident. Olympia is really low, about 9, but that’s likely because Olympia is a larger city with two other large libraries nearby. Elma is higher than Yelm (26 visits) while Tenino is in the neighborhood with 21 visits.

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4 Comments

Filed under buildings, Chat from the community, Yelm

4 responses to “One thought on the Yelm Library situation (not really any more regional than other libraries)

  1. kelsie

    Emmett,
    Thanks for posting this document. Very interesting, but how is the use of our branches by patrons outside the city limits represented here? This seems to only focus on use by city residents. (I’m looking at this doc on my phone. Am I missing something?)

    Thanks,
    Kelsie

  2. emmettoconnell

    Hi Kelsie,

    What I did was I took the usage data from 2008 and divided it by the city’s population in that year. I think you can easily assume that a “regional” library would see much higher use compared to the relative size of its local city or community.

    I simplified the spreadsheet I linked to above to make my point clearer. Yelm is certainly in the top half of libraries when judged by this standard, but also below cities like Elma, Shelton and Ilwaco. The gold standard for a “regional” library would seem to be North Mason or Mountain View.

  3. Pingback: Restating my position on the Yelm library situation | supports an active, informed community

  4. Pingback: Yelm as a regional library | supports an active, informed community

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