City of Austin Performance Report 2014-15
Library Program Attendance per Capita
Program attendance per capita is a standard indicator in the library industry. By dividing the total attendance by the population, the Library has a simple indicator of how much “repeat” business it receives.
This measure is calculated by dividing the total attendance at all library programs by the corresponding full-purpose population figure.
FY 2014-15 Results
In FY 2014-15, the goal for this measure was set at 0.19 and the result of 0.20 exceeded the goal.
Assessment of Results
Program attendance counts come from two categories, Youth programs and Adult/Family programs. Between FY 2010-11 and FY 2011-12, Library program attendance per capita decreased 12.5% due to decline of nearly 4% in total program attendance and growth of nearly 5% in population. In FY 2012-13, total program attendance increased over 14% due to events such as Yomicon - which hosted a record crowd, Juneteenth and other Holiday celebrations, the 2012 Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros program, and an event to celebrate the history of American Music. The upward trend continued in FY 2013-14 with program attendance increasing substantially in the Youth programming category partly due to an increase in funding in FY 2013-14 for additional Youth Librarians and Children’s Program Specialists. This facilitated creation of additional programs and increased the quality of interaction with participants. In FY 2014-15 Library program attendance per capita increased over 11% due to an increase in total program attendance of over 15%, which offset a population increase of 2.53%. Growth in attendance is due in part to additional funding for increased operating hours starting in January 2015 and more public programming across all library branches.
The department is projecting program attendance to increase slightly in FY 2015-16. The planned closure of several branch libraries for major renovations and the closure of Faulk Central Library in preparation of the move to the New Central Library will result in fewer programs. Additionally, the full-purpose population is projected to increase by 2.89%, leading to a slightly lower goal of 0.18.
Although the number of programs is expected to decrease, the expected attendance should increase slightly due in part to popular programs such as Crafting Programs, Night Crafters, and Coding classes. The Library will continue to evaluate its programs and develop partnerships with other City departments and other organizations including the Austin Independent School District, in order to provide quality, cost effective programs that meet the needs of its customers and to reach a broader segment of Austin’s diverse youth population.
For more information contact Victoria Rieger, Library Finance Manager, at (512) 974-7446.