The Circulation Report is an excellent source of statistics. Nancy likes to call it the “Circulation, Circulation, Circulation Report,” since it’s found in the Circulation Module, under the Reports -> Circulation menu. It should be the first thing you check any time you need to know “how many of these things are we sending out?” whatever 'these things' happen to be.
Because the report has A LOT of options, you can really key in on just what you need. Unlike the Readership & Circulation report, which was developed to return consistent results for all libraries based on NLS' defined parameters, YOU get to decide what you want to count.
The downside is that the report... has A LOT of options. What do they all mean? Let’s take a look at some of the specifics for the Circulation Report.
Pick and Choose What Results to Include
Don’t worry! I’m not referring to “cherry-picking” your data. By default, the Circulation Report spits out a huge table, with potentially many more columns and sections that you need. If you’re only looking for one specific thing, you can save yourself a little eye strain by selecting only the columns you want to include in the report.
For any of the "Media", "Show in Report", or "Include in" Total lists that you wish to customize, you can click on any of the specific values you want to move the selection off of “All.” Then, hold down the CTRL key and select any others you want included.
Understanding your Options and Results
Of course, as you’re selecting which results to include, you’ll need to understand what they mean. "Consumables" and "Tracked" both refer to physical items. Consumables might be things like catalogues, which you don't expect to be returned. Tracked items are everything you expect patrons to send back. "Electronic Circ" covers BARD downloads, plus any downloads of SHELF or local titles through your OPAC, while "Duplication" covers Titles (not cartridges) duplicated via PCC, Scribe, or Gutenberg.
So if you want to answer, “How many cartridges did we duplicate?” select Show in Report: Tracked, and set your Begin KLAS ID and End KLAS ID to DB-Cart to get the cartridge count.
But, if you want to know “How many books did our duplication patrons get?” Use Show in Report: Duplication.
The next fine distinction is between "Patron Served Counts", and "Overall Patron Counts".
Patron Served Counts will add a "Check Out" and a "Checked In" column for each of the Circulation types selected, showing how many patrons received circulation of that type. Overall Patron Counts will then add a column at the far right, showing the number of patrons who received any of the selected types of circulation.
In our example below, 1,727 patrons received about 12,000 Tracked physical items. In the same period, 254 Patrons downloaded almost 4,000 titles.
However, notice that you can’t just add those together to get the Overall Patrons. That’s because some patrons may have received Tracked items AND downloaded items for Electronic Circ. The "Overall Patrons" column only counts each of those patrons once, no matter how many other columns they’re in.
Do you have branch libraries?
If you have any sub-regionals or branches, make sure you understand your “Circulation Basis” options: Sending Library or Patron Served.
The simple version here is that Sending Library counts everything based on which library sent the material, no matter who received it, while Patron Served counts everything based on which library the patron is assigned to on their Patron Main tab, no matter who actually sent the material. So if FL1A fills a back-catalog request for an FL1G patron, Sending Library would count that circulation in FL1A's report, and Patron Served would count it in FL1G's report.
Once you've got that straight, here are a few more details:
BARD circulations have their sending library set based on which library loaded the BARD Circulations. So (to keep picking on Florida for my examples) if FL1A loaded everyone's BARD Circs, all of those Electronic Circs would show up in FL1A's report based on Sending Library. Instead, they have each sub-regional load their own BARD Circs, so they can include the Electronic Circ count in their regular reports while keeping the Sending Library basis.
Meanwhile, Braille Institute has branches, but they are not recognized as full sub-regionals by NLS and don't get separate reports from BARD to be able to load their BARD Circs branch by branch. They can still get separate Electronic Circ counts, though, by using the Patron Served basis for their reports.
Finally, the Patron Served basis for the Circulation Report works off of the details recorded in the "CirTrans," the circulation transaction record KLAS creates and stores every time something is checked out or back in. The patron's current library is one of the bits of data that is recorded, so even if a patron moves to a different region, the Circulation Report will still count them for the library they were assigned to at the time of the circulation.
That means that a patron could receive something checked out while they were in FL1G, call to update their address (at which time the diligent RA would update the library on their Main Tab), and receive their next book as a patron of FL1A. If statistics were run by Patron Served for that period, the patron would be counted once for FL1G, and once from FL1A.
In contrast, the Circulation by County report is a "snapshot report," which only works off of current information. That report looks up which patrons are currently in the given county, and then reports how many circulations those patrons received. So that report would count both of our example patron's circulations for their current county, not one for each.
I hope taking a deeper dive into the Circulation Report has been helpful for you! If you still have questions, that's fine. This is a complex but powerful report, and we're very happy to help you with it. Any time you have reporting questions send an email to ks7 with all the info you need numbers for, and we'll let you know the best way to get to them.
And if you just can't get enough about reports, have a look at some of our favorite Snapshot Reports, too!