Digits for the masses

nighthawk309 —  May 3, 2013 — 4 Comments

VennDiagaramNumbers and statistics are powerful things. They can be used to tell any number of stories. Some people see numbers and they gobble them up. These people thrive on digits and get great satisfaction in putting numbers to use. Other people don’t have such strong affection toward statistics. They admit numbers are useful but don’t soak them up and utilize them in the same way as the earlier group. Library statistics for public consumption need to be accessible and understandable.

Thanks to Tame The Web (TTW) for showcasing the Traverse Area District Library’s remarkably comprehensive statistics page. Check it out here. The raw numbers are coupled with pie charts and graphs. You can scroll through and get a sense of the content or you can comb through it and really immerse yourself in the details. The dashboard can display statistics for the entire system or can be limited by location. And who wouldn’t love to see the most popular books, movies and music listed at the bottom of the page?

Kudos to the team at Traverse Area District Library for setting the bar high! You’ve given the public a tool to see and interpret important library statistics while providing an opportunity to tell the library’s story through numbers.



Matt Church is the library director at the Berkley Public Library (Berkley, MI). He was previously associate director at the Baldwin Public Library (Birmingham, MI). He's all about libraries, Tom Waits, coffee, trekking and family adventures.

4 responses to Digits for the masses


    Is there a free site that can create these graphs and charts? I would love to be able to utilize this at my school library.


      I’ve been told that Scott Morey of the Traverse Area District Library’s IT group would be the best person to talk with about specifics.


    Is there a free site that we can utilize to create these charts and graphs for library statistics? I would love to be able to have this on my school library site.

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