Wi-Fi Sessions: Third Time’s the Charm | LJ Index 2018

For the last two data cycles, we have hoped to be able to add Wi-Fi sessions to the five existing per capita statistics: circulation, e-circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer uses.

For the last two data cycles, we have hoped to be able to add Wi-Fi sessions to the five existing per capita statistics: circulation, e-circulation, library visits, program attendance, and public Internet computer uses. Unfortunately, that was again not possible this year, because the percentage of responding libraries who reported  this statistic again fell below IMLS’s response rate standard of 80%, despite substantial improvements in reporting.

For FY16, the data year on which the 2018 LJ Index is based, all of the expenditure categories for libraries spending over $100,000 annually either met, or were within less than one percentage point of meeting, the 80% standard. For the two lowest expenditure categories—libraries spending less than $100,000 and less than $50,000 annually—only about three-quarters of libraries reported their Wi-Fi sessions.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES REPORTING WI-FI SESSIONS BY STATE, FY16

STATE WI-FI SESSIONS
REPORTED
NUMBER PERCENT
Texas 523 100.00%
Kentucky 118 100.00%
Nebraska 105 100.00%
West Virginia 96 100.00%
Georgia 63 100.00%
Arkansas 54 100.00%
Delaware 21 100.00%
Nevada 20 100.00%
Dist. of Columbia 1 100.00%
Hawaii 1 100.00%
New York 687 99.90%
Ohio 238 98.30%
South Carolina 40 97.60%
Michigan 368 97.40%
Missouri 137 97.20%
Alaska 33 97.10%
Louisiana 65 97.00%
Pennsylvania 416 97.00%
Mississippi 48 94.10%
Idaho 74 92.50%
North Dakota 45 91.80%
Maryland 20 90.90%
Indiana 200 88.10%
South Dakota 64 84.20%
Alabama 165 81.70%
Colorado 79 81.40%
STATE WI-FI SESSIONS
REPORTED
NUMBER PERCENT
Minnesota 95 80.50%
Oklahoma 82 76.60%
New Jersey 197 76.40%
Arizona 45 76.30%
Oregon 84 75.70%
New Mexico 50 73.50%
Tennessee 11 73.30%
Utah 45 72.60%
Florida 46 70.80%
Rhode Island 33 68.80%
Wisconsin 201 66.80%
Wyoming 15 65.20%
Massachusetts 180 64.50%
Virginia 56 62.90%
California 100 62.90%
Montana 47 62.70%
Kansas 109 62.60%
Iowa 215 59.60%
North Carolina 47 58.80%
Illinois 292 55.30%
New Hampshire 86 51.80%
Washington 21 45.70%
Maine 48 27.60%
Connecticut 35 21.00%
     
TOTAL 5,821 79.10%

There are also significant differences in response rate for Wi-Fi sessions by state.

For the FY16 data year, 100% response rates were achieved by the District of Columbia and ten states: ­Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Texas, and West Virginia.

Response rates exceeding 80% reporting but falling below 100% were achieved by 16 states—in descending order by response rate: Ohio, South Carolina, Michigan, Missouri, Alaska, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Idaho, North Dakota, Maryland, Indiana, South Dakota, Alabama, Colorado, and Minnesota.

States with Wi-Fi response rates between 50% and 80% are Oklahoma, New Jersey, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah, Florida, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Virginia, California, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, North Carolina, Illinois, and New Hampshire.

Washington, Maine, and Connecticut have Wi-Fi response rates below 50%.

PUBLIC LIBRARIES REPORTING WI-FI SESSIONS BY EXPENDITURE CATEGORY, FY16

EXPENDITURE
CATEGORY
WI-FI SESSIONS
REPORTED NOT REPORTED TOTAL
NUMBER PERCENT NUMBER PERCENT
$30M + 49 90.70% 5 9.30% 54
$10M–$29.9M 106 83.50% 21 16.50% 127
$5M–$9.9M 178 80.90% 42 19.10% 220
$1M–$4.9M 1,156 80.00% 289 20.00% 1,445
$400K–$999.9K 1,155 79.60% 296 20.40% 1,451
$200K–$399.9K 925 79.10% 244 20.90% 1,169
$100K–$199.9K 963 80.00% 241 20.00% 1,204
$50K–$99.9K 784 77.50% 227 22.50% 1,011
$10K–$49.9K 507 74.60% 173 25.40% 680
TOTAL 5,823 79.10% 1,538 20.90% 7,361

To Access STAR Libraries 2018 Home page - click here


Keith Curry Lance (keithlance@comcast.net) is an independent consultant based in suburban Denver. He also consults with the Colorado-based RSL Research Group. In both capacities, he conducts research on libraries of all types for state library agencies, state library associations, and other library-related organizations. For more information, visit www.KeithCurryLance.com

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