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Public Library Statistical Report

Help for completing the annual Oregon Public Library Statistical Report.

Reference Transactions

Reference transactions

7.01 Total number of reference transactions.

UPDATED definition: For public library statistics, our definition now conforms to the definition maintained by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA):

"Reference Transactions are information consultations in which library staff recommend, interpret, evaluate, and/or use information resources to help others to meet particular information needs. Reference transactions do not include formal instruction or exchanges that provide assistance with locations, schedules, equipment, supplies, or policy statements."

7.02 Reference transactions reporting method. Please choose one of these two options for how reference transactions are tracked:

  • Actual count (you track each transaction as it happens)
  • Estimate (using a sampling method)

Library Programs

Library Programs

7.03 Number of children's programs. A children's program is any planned event for which the primary audience is children and which introduces the group of children attending to any of the broad range of library services or activities for children or which directly provides information to participants. For the purposes of this survey, children’s age is defined as persons age 11 and under.  

Children's programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. Children's programs may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need. Examples of these types of programs include story hours and summer reading events.

Count all children's programs, whether held on- or off-site, that are sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Do not include children's programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities.

If children's programs are offered as a series, count each program in the series. For example, a story hour offered once a week, 48 weeks a year, should be counted as 48 programs.

Exclude library activities for children delivered on a one-to-one basis, rather than to a group, such as one-to-one literacy tutoring, services to homebound, homework assistance, and mentoring activities. The one-to-one services are counted under reference (formerly 6.35).

7.04 Number of persons attending programs for children. Provide a count of the total audience at all programs for which the primary audience is children 11 years and under. Include adults who attend programs intended primarily for children.  

Do not count attendance at library activities for children that are delivered on a one-to-one basis, rather than to a group, such as one-to-one literacy tutoring, services to homebound, homework assistance, and mentoring activities. Do not count registrations for the summer reading program for this survey (formerly 6.36).

7.05 Number of young adult programs. A young adult program is any planned event for which the primary audience is young adults and which introduces the group of young adults attending to any of the broad range of library services or activities for young adults or which directly provides information to participants. Young adult age is defined as 12 through 18 years and includes 18 year olds.   

Young adult programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. Young adult programs may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need. Examples of these types of programs include book clubs and summer reading events.

Count all young adult programs, whether held on- or off-site, that are sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Do not include young adult programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities.

If young adult programs are offered as a series, count each program in the series. For example, a book club offered every two weeks, 24 weeks a year, should be counted as 24 programs. Exclude library activities for young adults delivered on a one-to-one basis, rather than to a group, such as one-to-one literacy tutoring, services to homebound, homework assistance, and mentoring activities (formerly 6.37).

7.06 Number of persons attending young adult programs. Provide a count of the audience at all programs for which the primary audience is young adults 12 through 18 years and includes 18 year olds. Please count all patrons that attend the young adult program regardless of age (formerly 6.38).

7.07 Programs or presentations for adults or multi-generational audiences sponsored by the library. A program is any planned event which introduces the group attending to any of the broad range of library services or activities or which directly provides information to participants.

Programs may cover use of the library, library services, or library tours. Programs may also provide cultural, recreational, or educational information, often designed to meet a specific social need. Examples of these types of programs include film showings; lectures; literacy, English as a second language, and citizenship classes; and book discussions (formerly 6.39).

Count all programs intended for adults, families, or general audiences (i.e., programs not specifically for children or young adults), whether held on- or off-site, that are sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Exclude programs sponsored by other groups that use library facilities.

If programs are offered as a series, count each program in the series. For example, a film series offered once a week for eight weeks should be counted as eight programs.

Exclude library activities delivered on a one-to-one basis, rather than to a group, such as one-to-one literacy tutoring, services to homebound, resume writing assistance, and mentoring activities. Activities delivered on a one-to-one basis should be counted as reference. Do not count registration for activities that have no scheduled events.

7.08 Number of persons attending programs for adults or multi-generational audiences. Provide a count of the audience at these programs. Do not count registration for activities that have no scheduled events (formerly 6.40).

7.09 Total number of programs (auto-summed from 7.02, 7.04, and 7.06).

7.10 Total program attendance (auto-summed from 7.03, 7.05, and 7.07).


7.11 Meeting Room Usage. Number of all other meetings or events held at library facilities that were not sponsored or co-sponsored by the library. Please include scheduled meetings which occur in any area of the library (your library need not have a room specifically for meetings). Please include study room use (even if used by single individuals), and other scenarios where library space is used for community meetings, which you are able to easily track (scheduled tutoring sessions, etc.). Optional (formerly 6.43).

Youth Services Best Practices

7.12 Does your library provide a summer reading program?

Answer Yes if your library provides special programs and/or activities during the summer to encourage children and teens to read during their school vacation (formerly 6.50).

7.13 Does your library provide outreach to children and/or families, childcare providers, and preschool teachers?

Outreach is engaging youth and adults who are not using the library in face-to-face literacy-based activities and other library services. The purpose is to introduce youth to the library, develop positive relationships between youth and library staff, and provide youth with library materials, services, and programs. Outreach often includes forming partnerships with schools, community colleges, and other local organizations already working with youth who, for the most part, are not using the library. For example, doing a summer reading activity at a free lunch site and bussing Even Start families to the library for story time are both outreach activities. Distributing reading logs, calendars, and other material without engaging youth or adults is considered marketing, not outreach (formerly 6.51).

7.14 Does your library provide training in early literacy for parents, childcare providers, and preschool teachers?

Early literacy training is:

  1. Modeling the five early literacy practices to adults and telling adults information about early literacy during programs for children, and
  2. Presenting research-based early literacy curriculum to adults during programs for adults.

The purpose is to teach adults how to help young children develop the early literacy skills they need to learn how to read when they start school. The five early literacy practices are talking, singing, playing, reading and writing. Training should include modeling and learning about activities adults can do with young children to help them develop the six early literacy skills (formerly 6.52).