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Reporting Public Library Statistics
Mandate and Schedule
Oregon Revised Statute 357.520 requires each public library established under ORS 357.417 to make an annual report to the State Library on a form supplied by the State Library.
The statistics reporting process begins in late July, with statistics being reported for the previous fiscal year (July 1-June 30) due October 1.

Help in Statistics Collection and Reporting
Call Early, Call Often!
Don't wait!  Call for help early and often!  Call Ann Reed at (503) 378-5027 or email ann.reed@state.or.us.

Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to many common questions can be found on the Frequently Asked Questions site.   Please help us improve the site by sending us questions.  We promise anonymity if we post your question to the site.

with permission          http://www.unshelved.com/   strip from April 18, 2006

Workshops / Consultations
Staff will be happy to walk you through the use of software, use of statistics, or knowledge of survey items, in person or over the phone.  Workshops are available upon request for using the Bibliostat Collect survey software, among other topics. 

Bibliostat Collect
Using Bibliostat Collect
Click here for Bibliostat Collect (http://collect.btol.com)   
Bibliostat Collect is a product that collects library statistics.  It:
  • displays last year's data on this year's entry form
  • links online instructions and definitions to the question number
  • saves notes to yourself, as well as to the state and federal governments
  • prints reports of data or notes
  • alerts you to unusual data patterns
  • saves on logout or ninety minute timeout
You may need to disable your browser's pop-up blocker.  The Colorado State Library has handy tips for how to do this.
If you need technical assistance running Bibliostat Collect, call 1-866-785-9935.  Their hours are 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.  For a walkthrough of the software, contact Ann Reed at (503) 378-5027.

System Requirements
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer, version 6.0 or better
  • or Firefox, version 1.5 or better
  • will work with PC or Mac
  • Collect is best viewed with a resolution of 1024 x 768 or higher
  • login name and password available from Ferol Weyand at (503) 378-2525
  • If you do not have access to a computer capable of running Bibliostat Collect, please contact us.

Sample Oregon Public Library Statistical Report Form
Oregon Public Library Statistical Report Sample Form 
This sample is provided to give new directors a sense of what the form will ask for.  The form is accurate as of July 15, 2013.  Suggestions for improvement, additions or deletions are welcome.
Instructions for the Oregon Public Library Statistical Report 
The instructions contain the definitions of what should be counted for the statistical report.

The Statistics Process - What Happens to Your Data
The Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) for public library data was established by Congress in 1988 under the National Center for Education Statistics.  Each state has a Data Coordinator that works with the Federal government to produce quality statistics for all the public libraries in the country.  In 2007, the project was moved to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and renamed the Public Library Statistical Cooperative (PLSC).  The process remains basically the same as it was in 1988.
After statistics are turned in to the State Library, they go through a detailed examination process.  We examine data against previous years, looking for outliers, that is, data values exceeding expected changes.  The program, Bibliostat Collect, does the same thing through the edit check process.  We look particularly at staffing, income, and expenditures.  Data may need to be verified by the library at this point, if there is not a clear analytical note attached to the item in Bibliostat Collect.  We also examine certain elements against certain others for logical consistency. 
The State then electronically transmits the data for libraries meeting the Federal definition of a public library to the U.S. Census Bureau, a contractor for the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Not all respondents of the state’s survey will be included in the national data set. The IMLS works closely with the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), the American Library Association (ALA), researchers, and State Data Coordinators (SDCs) to design and conduct the survey.

After the data has been transmitted, Census compiles the data and checks it for values outside the norm.  When a figure is an outlier, most of the same edit checks that you see in Bibliostat Collect are raised.  If there is no "federal" note attached to the data that verifies a figure's accuracy, the Census contacts the State Data Coordinator for clarification.  In the past, the Oregon State Library has been asked to verify branch library addresses, revenue, number of children's programs, and other information about Oregon's libraries.
After the Census has checked the data, Census delivers preliminary tables to the PLSC Steering Committee and IMLS for review for data quality.  Census contacts the State Data Coordinator for clarification of any additional questionable data and data corrections, if necessary, based on this review.
When the data file is approved, the Census will go back and use standard formulas to impute the data, that is, provide estimates for missing data.  Approved data is then produced in the First Look report and the database is published.  Shortly afterwards, it is available through the public library locator and peer comparison tools as well as the Public Libraries in the United States report.  This process takes at least a year.