Plinius

Monday, August 6, 2007

PL 26/07: Close encounters of the library kind

Filed under: statistics — plinius @ 2:48 pm

boat.jpgIn Norway, as elsewhere, people move from rural districts towards cities and densely settled areas. A similar process of centralization takes place in the library sector.

Between 1991 and 2006 the total number of service points in the public library sector was reduced by one third, from 1214 to 815. Many people lost their local access – but at the same time more people moved closer to the larger central libraries.

The two processes lead to a slight increase in the average distance to the library between 1991 and 2004:

  • less than 1 km: ……………………from 23% to 19% of the population (9-79)
  • between 1 and 4,9 kms: ……..from 50% to 49%
  • between 5 and 10 kms: ………from 16% to 18%
  • more than 10 kms: ……..……..from 11% to 14%

Source: SSB. Kulturbarometer

Distance does affect the frequency of library visits.

In 2004, fifty-seven percent of the population (9-79 years) living less than five kilometers from a service point, had visited the library during the last year. The percentage sank to 47% for those that lived 5 – 24,9 kms. away – and to 41% for those (relatively few) that lived more than 25 kms. from the nearest library branch.

Data for earlier years are given in the Appendix. To estimate the impact of distance, I take the averages of the percentage differences:

  • Difference between 0 – 4,9 and 5 – 24,9: …………………9 percentage points
  • Difference between 5 – 24,9 and more than 25: ……13 percentage points

APPENDIX

The percentage of people who hade visited a public library  during the last year – for those who live

  • less than five
  • 5 – 24,9
  • and more than 25

kilometers from the nearest library branch.

  • 1991 ………………………. 51 % – 46 % – 29 %
  • 1994 ………………………. 52 % – 48 % – 35 %
  • 1997 ………………………. 56 % – 44% –  34 %
  • 2000 ………………………. 57 % – 44 % – 26 %
  • 2004 ………………………. 57 % – 47 % – 41 %

Computation

Difference between 0-4,9 and 5-24,9: [(51-46) + (52-48) + (56-44) + (57-44) + (57-47)] / 5 = 9 percentage points

1 Comment »

  1. […] 26/07. Close encounters of the library kind. What happens when people live far from […]

    Pingback by P 8/12: News from the North « Plinius — Sunday, March 4, 2012 @ 10:33 am


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