Sandefjord PL

This fact sheet about Sandefjord public library combines

  • information from a traffic count in May 2008
  • indicator data based on KOSTRA from 2008

This sheet is also available in Norwegian (slightly expanded).

The community

Sandefjord is a municipality in the county of Vestfold. In 2008 the town had about 42 thousand inhabitants

  1. Municipal home page. English version.
  2. See also the entry on Sandefjord in Wikipedia.
  3. A useful collection of municipal statistics from Statistics Norway is available on this page. Norwegian text only.

To get a rough translation of Norwegian text into English (or another language)  you may use Google Translate.

Some factors that influence library use is the settlement pattern (concentrated/dispersed), the level of education and the number of recent immigrants – especially from non-Western countries.

  • Sandefjord has a dense settlement pattern: 94 percent of the population lives in urban areas, while the national average is 78 percent
  • Twenty-two percent of the adult population has at least some higher education. The national average is 25 percent.
  • Persons with a non-Western background constitute 7,0 percent of the population. The national average is 7,2 percent.

The library

The library has a staff of 16 FTEs, about 105 thousand books and about 20 thousand other media.  It is centrally located, at Hjertnes, next to the cinema and many municipal offices. It is open nearly sixty hours per week:

  • 08:00 to 19:30 Monday through Thursday
  • 08:00 to 16:30 on Fridays
  • 10:00 tot 15:00 on Saturdays

There are no local branches. Current statistics published by the library can be found here.

Indicator values 2008

The values for Sandefjord are compared with the median value for all municipalities with 20-50 thousand inhabitants

  • A1: Visits per capita
    • 5.27 visits – 4.63
  • A2: Loans per capita
    • 7.33 loans – 5.06
  • A3: Activity level
    • 12.60 – 9.69
  • B1: Staff per 10.000 population
    • 3.75 FTEs – 3.35
  • B2: Operational costs (S+M)
    • 214 NOK per capita – 183
  • C1: Productivity level
    • 5.90 activity points per 100 NOK – 5.01
  • D1: Salary per FTE
    • 466 thousand NOK- 485
  • D2: Media expenditures per new item
    • 166 NOK –  126
  • D3: Media share of (S+M) expenses
    • 18 percent – 13
  • E1: Non-fiction book turnover rate
    • 1.22 – 0.74
  • E2: Fiction turnover rate
    • 2.63 – 1.05
  • E3: Children’s books turnover rate
    • 2.79 – 1.65
  • F1: Loans per visit
    • 1.39 items – 1.16
  • F2; Loans of non-book media per capita
    • 2.24 items – 1.46
  • F3: Loans of non-fiction books per adult
    • 1.44 books –  0.95
  • F4: Loans of fiction books per adult
    • 1.82 books – 1.28
  • F5: Loans children’s books per child
    • 13.91 books – 8.32
  • G1: Loans of non-book media as % of all loans
    • 30 percent- 30
  • G2: Loans of non-fiction books as % of adult book loans
    • 44 percent – 43
  • G3: Loans of children’s books as % of all book loans
    • 47 percent – 45
  • H1: Accessions per 100 population
    • 23.46 items – 19.08
  • H2: Stock of non-fiction books per adult
    • 0.98 books – 1.18
  • H3: Stock of fiction books per adult
    • 0.57 books – 1.00
  • H4: Stock of children’s books per child
    • 4.99 books – 4.99
  • H5: Stock of non-fiction books as % of adult stock
    • 63 percent- 51
  • H6: Stock of children’s books as % of total book stock
    • 36 percent- 31


Traffic count May 2008



The library occupies two floors and a total area of about two thousand sqm. The children’s section and most of the non-fiction books are located on the second floor.

The public areas were divided into eight zones in collaboration with the staff.

Second floor

  • A: Fairy tale room – a special room next to the main children’s section
  • B: Children’s section
  • C:  Non-fiction books, adults

First floor

  • D:  entrance area with reception and stairs leading up to the second floor
  • E: «time-out area»: periodicals, PCs and non-fiction books on social science
  • F: youth area + shelves just outside
  • G: the rest of the opean first floor area: music, som non-fiction
  • H: two reading rooms – one for groups and one for individual study

The library also has a special collection on whaling (Sandefjord used to be a whaling town). The collection is the property of the Whaling Museum and is stored in a locked room.


  • 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
  • O. Other.
    • Activities not covered by A-X.

The Sandefjord list included one additional category compared with the standard, viz. the use of automated lending and return facilities

Variation through the week. Time spent at the library.

The electronic counter showed these values

  • Monday:  665 visits – or 58 visits per hour
  • Tuesday 724 visits – 63 per hour
  • Wednesday: 638 visits – 54 per hour
  • Thursday: 730 visits – 63 per hour
  • Friday: 415 visits –  49 per hour
  • Saturday: 316 visits – 63 per hour

The library shares its entrance with som municipal offices like the Park Department and the Church Supervisor. The electronic counts (divided by two) are therefore certainly too high. To get more accurate estimates, the counter has to be calibrated. This means doing a period of manual counting alongside the electronic one, so that the normal percentage of library visits among the total can be calculated.

A total of 3562 visits, or 60 visits per opening hour, were registered during the traffic week. The student conducting the CTT study, suggested a ten percent correction, which gives an estimate of 3206 visits or 54 visits per hour. The week resulted in 2274 observations. Each observation corresponds to one visitor-hour. This implies an average time of

  • 2274 hours/3206 visits  = 0,64 timer/besøk = 43 minutes per visit

Calibration of the counter may lead to a minor correction of this number.


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.

The full tables for Sandefjord have been published in Google Docs. The details are mainly of local interest. But general patterns appear when we «interrogate the data». I’ve chosen these questions:

  1. To what extent is the library used by groups – rather than by isolated individuals?
  2. To what extent do users spend time with PCs?
  3. To what extent has library use a modern (or non-traditional) character?
  4. How much of the users’ time is spent interacting with staff?
I define modern as activities involving groups or data (or both).
The four questions are answered by calculating the time spent on:
  • Group activities: 28 percent
  • Data activties: 36 percent
  • Modern (non-traditional) activities: 51 percent
  • Contact with staff: 5 percent


  • 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

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 corresponding median values for twenty public libraries were:

  • Group activities: 24 percent
  • Data activties: 31 percent
  • Modern activities: 45 percent
  • Contact with staff: 6 percent

Sandefjord library clearly tilts towards the modern side.


  • Count The Traffic (CTT). Home page for the CTT method in English
  • TTT. Home page for the method in Norwegian (here we call it TTT).

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