by Katina Strauch, Editor kstrauch@comcast.net

This is in answer to Rick Anderson’s recent article in LJ — “Print on the Margins: Circulation Trends in Major Research Libraries”. Rick seems to be addressing the circulation of print resources and points to the the changes in user behavior.  We at ATG have been asking our subscribers if they count e-use statistics with their print circulation figures. The majority of libraries do not.  So, for me, the main question is — why aren’t we counting e-use statistics the same way that we are counting print book check out statistics?

The idea that because someone checks out a book means that he or she reads it or even consults it is just as fallacious as saying that a click on an electronic link doesn’t show use! Libraries are dishing out e-content with both hands to our users, marketing it and promoting it more than print materials and then we bewail the downturn in print circulation statistics. Duh! I know that use statistics have problems, but how many statistical measures don’t? Are we cutting off our nose to spite our face? I think we are!