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The guys at the San Diego Institute for Policy Research just sent over this note related to the comparison of the county library system to the city’s. They turned over an interesting little rock:

Scott,

We have both been enjoying Library Fortnight. It spurred us at SDI to do some digging and we found the following report, California Library Statistics, 2007.

We then crunched some numbers. Now, while we will be doing a longer report on this in the fall, we did see a couple of things that jumped out at us in light of your most recent post. All figures are from FY 2005-2006, the last year of comparison in the report (pg.58).

  • City San Diego Total Yearly Hours of Operations for the Year: 74,609
  • San Diego County Total Hours of Operation: 74,299

 Cost per hour of operation (Total operating budget/hours of operation — pages 30 and 58):                   

  • City of San Diego $544
  • County of San Diego $436

How does the county provide nearly the same number of hours for almost $9 million less?  Page 23 seems to tell the story: While the county has 290 FTE’s (full-time (equivalent) employees) working in its system, the city of San Diego has more than 420. 

And there is every reason to believe that the main library will make this problem worse, not better, as the new building would be bigger and require more support staff (where the city takes it on the chin if you look at the ration of FTE librarians to FTE employees)

Keep up the good work.

Erik Bruvold and Vince Vasquez

There was a reason I chose to stretch this out over a period of time and touch on many different points: I knew you readers could help find some interesting things out. Keep it coming.

SCOTT LEWIS

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