Analysis of largest, most diverse compilation of academic book usage data ever collected now available

"Consortial Book Circulation Patterns: The OCLC-OhioLINK Study" provides an interpretation of the book circulation patterns from the OhioLINK consortium and OCLC Research study. The article is scheduled for publication in the November 2014 issue of College and Research Libraries but a preprint [pdf] is available now.

Written by Edward T. O'Neill and Julia Gammon, the article outlines the study methodology, analyzes the data, and offers insights into the consortium-wide collection usage. The OCLC-OhioLINK study collected and analyzed circulation data for libraries within the consortium examining the circulation of 28,475,701 books from over 100 academic libraries. Circulation patterns analyzed include subject and language usage, as well as scattering, obsolescence and duplication.

Key highlights from the article include:

  • Different types of libraries had similar circulation rates with an average annual circulation rate of 0.11 circulations per book
  • Most usage was generated by a relatively small proportion of books: 7.2% of manifestations produced 80% of circulation and over 80% of the manifestations did not circulate in the year observed
  • Few books were heavily used but a large proportion of the collection were rarely, if ever, used
  • Older books had a much lower circulation rate than new books but they continued to be used and are an essential part of research collections
  • Previous use is the best predictor of future use and could effectively help to identify additional books suitable for the depositories

The results and conclusions from the study offer valuable insights for library collection planning, including library purchasing, storage considerations, and future usage prediction.

The data collected in the study were published in the report, OhioLINK–OCLC Collection and Circulation Analysis Project 2011. For more information about the study, see the OhioLINK Collection and Circulation Analysis project activity page.


For more information:

Edward T. O'Neill
Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research


Quick links:

"Consortial Book Circulation Patterns: The OCLC-OhioLINK Study" preprint [pdf] [link]

OhioLINK Collection and Circulation Analysis project activity page [link]

OhioLINK-OCLC Collection and Circulation Analysis Project report [link]

Analysis results:

  • OhioLINK results by institution [link]
  • Collective results [link]