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How many clicks?

Over on the business2blog, my attention is drawn to the fact that online visits to Walmart (4.85% of net traffic) last Friday passed those to Amazon (2.80% of net traffic).
Now, I really wonder if we combined all the visits to library websites, where would libraries rank?
According to the old OCLC (OCLC, “Libraries, How They Stack Up”, Copyright 2003 OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) report Fedex sends about 5.3 million parcels daily comparied to Libraries circulating about 5.4 million items and another 5.7 million online items a day – just about double. Amazon did about 1.5 million items a day. We estimate that SirsiDynix software handles about 2 million items a day.
In the US there are about 1.1 billion visitors a year – about nine times the number of US major sports attendees (about 0.2 billion). SirsiDynix estimates that about 250 million folks see our software in libraries.
There are about 6 times more people with library cards than drivers’ licenses! SirsiDynix software manages more patron records than there are drivers’ licenses globally.
The number of library locations vastly outnumbers McDonald’s and Starbucks combined.
It feels to me like we vastly underestimate our community power and influence. We also underestimate the talent and complexity to manage this “presence”. Maybe we need to craft a better commnuication of our role and complexity….
Just some random thoughts for a busy day …

Posted on: November 29, 2005, 1:25 pm Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses

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  1. Laura Soto-Barra said

    This is a timely posting. I just realized today that our NPR database contains over 800,000 cataloging records and our Transcripts database contains almost 200,000 transcripts. This means all the historic record of the programming done at NPR since 1971 is preserved in our libray thanks to librarians’ efforts!! We had never counted and we are impressed. I will use these numbers to WOW management! and the tourists who come every week to the public tours at NPR. For sure, numbers of these caliber, eg, “There are about 6 times more people with library cards than drivers’ licenses”, give librarians a new dimension.

  2. Interesting — I had some thoughts about these issues when Patrick Sommers spoke at CODI in Minneapolis, and gave some of the same figures. I have posted my comments over at the Gordian Knot… in lieu of trackback, here’s the URL:

  3. Brother Jim said

    You and only you are qualified to compare drivers licences to library cards.