Plinius

Saturday, September 20, 2008

PL 44/08: Visits in Denmark and Norway

Filed under: Uncategorized — plinius @ 1:14 pm

Danish and Norwegian visitor statistics tell the same story.

The number of public library visits per capita is going down – and the decline is strongest in large municipalities. Since new social trends tend to start in cities, we must be prepared for further reductions in the future.

Public library in Kolding, Denmark.

Innovative services, exciting design and purple marketing is part of the answer. But we should also collect more data.

Look at how much time people spend at the library – and what they actually do when they visit.

If the number of visits goes down by ten percent, while the average stay increases by twenty percent, library use is going up rather than down.

Visits at the national level

Norwegian visits per capita:

  • 2005: 5,1
  • 2006: 4,8
  • 2007: 4,7

Danish visits per capita:

  • 2005: 6,64
  • 2006: 6,26
  • 2007: 6,14

In Denmark, the whole municipal structure was reorganized from 2006 to 2007. This means that library statistis at the municipal level must be analyzed separately before and after the change.

Before 2007

I have divided the municipalities into four groups, with

  • more than 50.000 inhabitants
  • between 20 and 50.000 inhabitants
  • between 10 and 20.000 inhabitants
  • less than 10.000 inhabitants

For each group, I have

  1. calculated the change in visits per capita from 2005 to 2006 for each municipality (that had available data)
  2. established the median value

The median values were:

  • more than 50.000 inhabitants:  -67 visits per 100 inhabitants (Herning)
  • between 20 and 50.000 inhabitants: – 39 visits (Greve)
  • between 10 and 20.000 inhabitants: – 25 (Dragør; Sorø)
  • less than 10.000 inhabitants: – 33 (Skævinge)

After 2007

In both countries, visits fell substantially from 2005 to 2006 – and rather less from 2006 to 2007.

In Denmark, some municipalities were not restructured, but kept their pre-2007 borders. If we look at these municipalities only, we find these medians:

  • more than 50.000 inhabitants:  -8 visits per 100 inhabitants
  • between 20 and 50.000 inhabitants: -65 visits

The larger municipalities now seem more resistant to the forces that reduce the number of visits.

Resources

APPENDIX

These municipalities, with an aggregate population of 2,2 million,  survived the restructuration.

  • København/Copenhagen  509 861 population on January 1, 2008
  • Århus     298 538
  • Vejle     104 933
  • Frederiksberg     93 444
  • Sønderborg     76 913
  • Gentofte     68 913
  • Hjørring     67 121
  • Gladsaxe     62 562
  • Helsingør/Elsinore     60 844
  • Faaborg-Midtfyn     51 950
  • Lyngby-Taarbæk     51 449
  • Fredericia     49 463
  • Hvidovre     49 380
  • Greve     47 773
  • Høje-Taastrup     47 158
  • Ballerup     47 116
  • Vordingborg     46 600
  • Bornholm    42 817
  • Tårnby     40 016
  • Fredensborg     39 240
  • Rødovre     36 144
  • Brøndby     33 831
  • Albertslund     27 602
  • Herlev     26 567
  • Hørsholm     24 197
  • Allerød     23 493
  • Struer     22 672
  • Morsø     22 091
  • Odder     21 562
  • Solrød     20 759
  • Ishøj     20 687
  • Glostrup     20 673
  • Dragør     13 261
  • Vallensbæk     12 399
  • Ærø     6 712
  • Samsø     4 085
  • Læsø     2 003

1 Comment »

  1. […] 44/08. Visits in Denmark and Norway. Decreasing number of public library visits per capita since […]

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


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