City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15

Internet Sessions per Capita

Measure Description
Internet sessions per capita is a standard indicator in the library industry. This measure represents the total number of wired and wireless network connection sessions to the Library's network at all branch locations and the Central Library.
Calculation Method
This measure is calculated by taking the total session logins to wired public computers and wireless connections to wireless access points for all library locations, and dividing it by the corresponding full-purpose population figure. The calculation of this Key Performance Indicator (KPI) was changed in FY 2013-14 to include wireless internet sessions, in addition to wired internet sessions. Prior to FY 2013-14, the reported result for this KPI only included wired internet sessions in the calculation. However, the results obtained from the current calculation were recorded for FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15 and are represented in the graph illustrated below.
FY 2014-15 Results
The goal for this measure was established at 1.36. The FY 2014-15 results fell short at 1.09.
Assessment of Results
The above chart illustrates the five-year history of internet sessions per capita at Austin Public Library (APL). This is the 2nd year that the reported results for this Key Performance Indicator include both wired and wireless internet sessions, as opposed to prior years’ where only wired sessions were used. However, the data for both wired and wireless were collected from FY 2010-11 to FY 2014-15 and the results have fluctuated nominally from year to year. From FY 2010-11 to FY 2011-12 the indicator decreased 1.7%, from FY 2011-12 to FY 2012-13 it increased 7%, from FY 2012-13 to FY 2013-14 it decreased 5.7%, and from FY 2013-14 to FY 2014-15 the indicator again decreased 6%. This indicator is a function of the number of wired and wireless internet sessions connected at library facilities in relation to population, and therefore the total number of sessions must increase each year in direct proportion to population or a resulting decrease in the measure will be realized. Over the past three-year time period that this indicator has been reported against an established goal, the number of wired and wireless internet sessions at library facilities decreased 4.6% while the city’s population increased, thereby resulting in a decline of 11.4% in internet sessions per capita. The proliferation of personal devices with access to seemingly universal free Wi-Fi, as well as more affordable data plans with greater bandwidth and more reliable connections are increasingly transforming the way society is accessing the internet and eliminating past constraints. This transformation is enabling more and more people untethered access 24-hours a day to information, knowledge, and literature remotely from anyplace, anytime.
Mother and child sitting in front of library computer, smiling.
Next Steps
The Library will continue to provide wired and wireless access to patrons and the public, to gauge the combined utilization across the library system and assess its effect on this indicator. The Library is also a participant in the Edge Initiative which provides a management and leadership tool to help libraries create a path for the continuous growth and development of public technology services. Edge supports the Library in assessing how the Austin community is using technology and how to align future growth and services with community priorities and citizen needs.
Contact Information
For more information contact Victoria Rieger, Library Financial Manager, at (512) 974-7446.