Bekkestua Public Library is the central library in Bærum, a large suburban municipality (one hundred thousand inhabitants) immediately west of Oslo.
This statistical fact sheet combines
- information from a traffic count in May 2010
- with information from a similar count in May 2008
The municipal library system includes four branch libraries, at Eiksmarka, Høvik, Rykkinn and Sandvika. Library students from Oslo University College have carried out traffic counts at all the branches as well. These are documented here (in Norwegian).
The document has four sections:
- Section Alpha describes the actual data collection and the number of visitors that use the library (occupancy) through the day and week.
- Section Beta documents how the number of visit hours is is distributed between different library areas (zones) and activities.
- TO BE ADDED: Section Gamma documents the interaction between zones, activities and time (hours, days).
- TO BE ADDED: Section Delta documents the interaction between demographic variables (sex, age), on the one hand, and zones, activities and time, on the other
- Bærum. English Wikipedia entry.
- Tourist information from Bærum
- Bærum. Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
- Bærum kommune. Norwegian Wikipedia entry.
- Bærum kommune. Entry in Store Norske Leksikon – the «national encyclopedia» of Norway
- Bærum kommune. Municipal home page
- Bærum kommune. Municipal fact sheet from Statistics Norway
Statistical data about Bærum Public Library are included in the spreadsheets with municipal data in
- Plinius Data > Nordic countries > Norway.
- Monday 10-19
- Tuesday 10-19
- Wednesday 10-19
- Thursday 10-19
- Friday 10-17
- Saturday 9-15
- Total: 49 hours
In addition, a separate reading room is open
- Monday 7-19
- Tuesday 7-19
- Wednesday 7-19
- Thursday 7-19
- Friday 7-17
- Saturday 0730-15
- Total: 65.5 hours
In 2010 traffic counts were made every second hour (every hour in 2008)
- Monday 1030, 1230, 1430, 1630, 1830
- Tuesday 1030, 1230, 1430, 1630, 1830
- Wednesday 1030, 1230, 1430, 1630, 1830
- Thursday 1030, 1230, 1430, 1630, 1830
- Friday 1030, 1230, 1430, 1630
- Saturday 1030, 1230, 1430
- 27 rounds in total
The average number of patrons visiting the library at any one time was 52 persons in 2010 – and 45 persons in 2008. Variations from day to day were moderate:
- Monday: 48 persons on the average
- Tuesday: 50
- Wednesday: 55
- Thursday: 54
- Friday: 57
- Saturday: 47
The average length of visits (dwell time) was 25 minutes in May 2010 – against 21 minutes in May 2008
The four branch libraries are smaller
- Sandvika: 29 persons on the average
- Rykkinn: 10
- Eiksmarka: 6,1
- Høvik: 2,9
The dwell times were
- Sandvika: 21 minutes
- Rykkinn: 13 minutes
- Eiksmarka: 12 minutes
- Høvik: 15 minutes
- Comprehensive traffic data are available from the spreadsheet Bekkestua 2010 (Google Docs).
Description of the zones
- Books for toddlers – A
- 28 seats (0 PC seats)
- Long table with ten seats, two children’s tables with twelve low chairs, six comfortable chairs
- A stack of twenty small chairs is available for special events
- Guide Desk for children, PCs with children’s games, children’s books – B
- 15 plasser (4)
- Sofakrok med 4-6 sitteplasser, bord med fire plasser, «kafébord» med to stoler. Fire PC-er med spill for barn (nettilgang).
- PCs with internet, books, movies and cartoons – C
- 8 seats (5)
- Three computers with internet access. Two x-box consoles with room for approx. five children.
- Music Guide Desk , CDs and books on music – D
- 14 seats (1)
- One internet PC, couches with space for five persons next to a listening station, table with four chairs, two small tables with two chairs each. E
- PC dedicated to catalog searches (not counted as a regular PC)
- Now includes the zone Sheet music and music books (identified as E in 2008)
- Lending desk, automated lending and delivery, two coin-operated copying machines, self-service reservation shelf – E
- No seats
- Guide Desk for adults and PC area – F
- 7 seats (7)
- Seven internet PCs. Two catalog PCs.
- Fiction and reference works – G
- No seats
- Fantasy books, large print, literature (000-300), government publications – H
- No seats
- DVDs and non-fiction 700-900 – I
- 8 plasser (0)
- Three tables with eight seats in all
- Front reading room – J
- 18 plasser (2)
- To PC-er med internett
- Åtte bord med 16 plasser i alt
- kodet som K i 2008
- Non-fiction (300, 500, 600), reference books- K
- No seats
- Two catalog PCs
- Quiet reading room – L
- 27 seats (0)
- Foreign Language and Literature – M
- Two seats (0)
- One table with two chairs
- Newspapers and magazines – N
- 14 seats (0)
- Entrance – O
- 3 seats (0)
- Includes Exhibition Centre
- Includes Poetry Section
- Magazine – P
- 3 seats (1)
- One PC
- One table with two chairs
- There are also some chairs and stools around
- The magazine is located in the basement, but is open to the public.
- 147 seats (20 with computers + 5 catalog PCs)
Occupancy by zones
The traffic count resulted in 1402 observations
More than ten percent of all observations
- 276 observations from zone L – Quiet reading room
- 27 seats – none with data
- 10.0 persons on the average
- 170 from Guide Desk for adults and PC area – F
- 7 seats – all with data (+ 2 catalog PCs)
- 6.3 persons
- 148 from Front reading room – J
- 18 seats – two with data
- 5.5 persons
- 141 from Guide Desk for children, PCs with children’s games, children’s books – B
- 15 seats – four with data
- 5.2 persons
Between five and ten percent
- 120 from Newspapers and magazines – N
- 14 seats – none with data
- 4.4 persons
- 115 from DVDs and non-fiction 700-900 – I
- 8 seats – none with data
- 4.3 persons
- 105 from Books for toddlers – A
- 28 seats – none with data
- 3.9 persons
- 78 from Lending desk, automated lending and delivery, two coin-operated copying machines, self-service reservation shelf – E
- no seats
- 2.9 persons
Between two and five percent
- 69 from PCs with internet, books, movies and cartoons – C
- 8 seats – all with data
- 2.6 persons
- 48 from Music Guide Desk , CDs and books on music – D
- 14 seats – one with data
- 1.8 persons
- 42 from Fiction and reference works – G
- no seats
- 1,6 persons
- 32 from Entrance – O
- tre plasser (0)
- 1.2 persons
Less than two percent
- 21 from Foreign Language and Literature – M
- two seats – none with data
- 0.8 persons
- 18 from Fantasy books, large print, literature (000-300), government publications – H
- no seats
- 0.7 persons
- 13 from Non-fiction (300, 500, 600), reference books – K
- no seats
- 0.5 persons
- 6 from Magazine – P
- 3 seats – one with data
- 0.2 persons
Description of the activities
- A. Walks or stands alone.
- Covers standing or walking around without browsing and without relating to library staff or other users.
- B. Walks or stands in company.
- Participates in a group of two or more persons that stands or walks around without browsing and without relating to library staff.
- C. Sits alone .
- Sits alone without relating to media, to library staff or to other users.
- D. Sits in a group without media
- Participates in a group of two or more persons that does not relate to books or other media or to library staff.
- E. Browses alone
- Covers browsing or scanning of items on shelves while standing or walking around.
- F. Browses in company
- Participates in a group of two or more persons that browse or scan items on shelves together while standing or walking around.
- G Sits alone reading (or writing)
- Sits and reads by her/himself. Includes individual work – reading and or writing – without using ICT. Includes listening to music, watching videos and using other media – but not the use of computers.
- H. Sits in a group with media
- Participates in a group where at least one person relates to books or other media. [Use (10) for groups with active PC].
- I. Sits alone with mobile computer
- Sits alone with active mobile computer (active screen)
- J. Sits in a group with mobile computer(s).
- Participates in a group where at least one person is using a mobile PC (active screen).
- K. Sits alone with stationary computer.
- Sits alone with active computer (active screen).
- L Sits in a group with stationary computer(s)
- Participates in a group of two or more persons that is using one or more library PCs (active screen).
- M. Contact with staff
- Covers all direct contact with staff. Here we want to register activities where staff spends time with the users, whether it involves speaking, writing, demonstrating or walking around.
- N. Queuing.
- Covers all visible waiting for service or facilities, whether in a proper line or not: waiting for staff, waiting for access to equipment, toilet queues, aso.
- X. Uses the automated lending or delivery system, makes copies, picks up reserved items
- Y. Uses dedicated catalog PC
- O. Other.
- Activities not covered by A-Y.
Note that our Standard list of activities only includes A to O. Activities X and Y have been added for this particular library.
Activities by frequency
More than ten percent of the time is spent on these five activities
- G Sits alone reading (or writing): 26.2 percent
- H. Sits in a group with media: 12.6 percent
- E. Browses alone: 11.7 percent
- I. Sits alone with mobile computer: 11.2 percent
- K. Sits alone with stationary computer: 11.1 percent
Between two and five percent …
- B. Walks or stands in company: 4.5 percent
- J. Sits in a group with mobile computer(s): 3.6 percent
- X. Uses the automated lending or delivery system, makes copies, picks up reserved items: 3.3 percent
- L Sits in a group with stationary computer(s): 2.8 percent
- M. Contact with staff: 2,7 percent
- A. Walks or stands alone: 2.7 percent
- D. Sits in a group without media: 2.6 percent
Less than two percent …
- F. Browses in company: 1.6 percent
- C. Sits alone: 1.3 percent
- N. Queuing: 0.8 percent
- Y. Uses dedicated catalog PC: 0.7 percent
- O. Other: 0.6 percent
The list of activities was made as an aid to observation, but is not ideal for analyzing the data. When we interpret, we should first decide what we want to know – and then group the data accordingly.
I’ve chosen these questions:
- To what extent is the library used by groups – rather than by isolated individuals?
- To what extent do users spend time with PCs?
- To what extent has library use a modern (or non-traditional) character?
- I define modern as activities involving groups or data (or both).
- How much of the users’ time is spent interacting with staff?
- Group activities = B + D + F + H + J + L
- Data activities = I + J + K + L
- Modern activities = B + D + F + H + I + J + K + L
- Contact with staff = M
The results were
- Group activities: 27 percent
- Data activities: 29 percent
- Modern activities: 50 percent
- Contact with staff: 2.7 percent
Note that all percentages refer to the time spent on various activities – not how many persons engaged in the activity during their visit. The staff was probably contacted by at least fifty percent of the visitors. But since most of the contacts were short, the actual time spent was quite low.
The values for 2008 were
- Group activities: 12 percent
- Data activities: 26 percent
- Modern activities: 36 percent
- Contact with staff: 5.2 percent
The pattern of use at Bekkestua is clearly changing from a more traditional to a more modern form:
- A strong increase in group activities
- A moderate increase in data activities
- More self service (less contact with staff)
The corresponding median values for twenty public libraries (2008-2009) were:
- Group activities: 24 percent
- Data activties: 31 percent
- Modern activities: 45 percent
- Contact with staff: 6 percent
Comparisons with branch libraries
Time spent in groups
- Bekkestua 2008: 12 percent
- Bekkestua 2010: 27
- Sandvika: 24
- Rykkinn : 33
- Eiksmarka: 19
- Høvik: 0
Time spent with data
- Bekkestua 2008: 26 percent
- Bekkestua 2010: 29
- Sandvika: 29
- Rykkinn : 25
- Eiksmarka: 23
- Høvik: 26
Time spent with staff
- Bekkestua 2008: 5.2 percent
- Bekkestua 2010: 2.7
- Sandvika: 4
- Rykkinn: 10
- Eiksmarka: 10
- Høvik: 23