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Devon Libraries

Library user data

Background

Membership of Devon Libraries is open to anyone living, working or studying within the
Devon County Council administrative area.

Devon County Council is by law the ‘library authority’ for its area. Public library services are
administered at a local level by local councils. This is the highest tier of local government
authority, so usually a county or unitary authority, rather than district, parish or town councils.

Councils have a statutory duty to provide a public library service but can choose to contract
out or commission the running of the service from another organisation rather than provide
the service directly. In Devon, the County Council has commissioned Libraries Unlimited
South West, a registered charity, to run public library services. For day to day purposes the
service still operates under the name ‘Devon Libraries’.

Visitors to the county can take out temporary membership of Devon Libraries, and anyone
who visits on a regular basis can take out full, permanent membership, rather than re-
register each time they visit.

The library service is also flexible about people in neighbouring authorities joining as
members. This will usually be people living close to the borders between different local
government areas; for example, a number of residents living Torbay, and people living in
South Devon, will be members of both Torbay and Devon Libraries.

A member of the public will register their membership at a specific library, and this is
recorded on their membership record as the ‘home’ branch; but their membership ticket can
be used at any other Devon library. For example, someone can borrow a book from one
library and return it to another; or they can use the public computers at any library; or borrow
items of stock from more than one library at the same time: there is no need to have a
separate ticket for each library you use.

Each member is assigned to a membership category. This will define their entitlements and
any appropriate concessions. For example, children under the age of 5 are not charged fines
if their books are returned late (‘Under 5’ category).

Most people can borrow up to 12 books, 4 DVDs and 4 Audio Books, although increased or
restricted loan entitlements may apply to some membership categories. Borrowing books is
free of charge, although charges are incurred if books are returned late. Hire charges apply
to media items such as DVDs, CDs and Audio Books, although concessions on charges
apply to some membership categories.

Books and audio books are initially loaned for three weeks; DVDs and CDs for one week.
Book loans can be renewed for a further period 3 weeks (this avoids any overdue charges).
Media items can be kept longer but additional weekly hire charges apply.
Library members are entitled to up 2 hours free access per day on a public computer and
are also entitled to use the eBook and eMagazine download services which are free of
charge.

You do not have to be registered member to use a public library for reference or study
purposes, or to attend advertised events, displays and other activities. Also, you do currently
have to be a library member to use the free Wi-Fi available in every library.

Where registered members transact with a library system, for example, borrowing a book,
the date of their last transaction is updated on their membership record. This ‘last seen’ date
would be also be updated if they log into their online membership account, or log on to a
public computer, use the eBook service or update their membership contact details. This
helps the library service keep track of how many members are still actively using the service.

Library data set


The data set includes selected fields of data for every registered library member, as at
26.07.2017. This has been combined with the login records for the public computers, and the
eBook and eMagazine download services, to identify if members are using one or more of
these services.
Each row in the spreadsheet represents an individual library member but the data has been
‘anonymised’: the membership number, personal names and contact details have been
removed. Gender, date of birth and postcode has been retained to help with statistical
analysis.

Column name Description


Library The library where the member is registered
ID Membership number
Category (see below) Category assigned to the member e.g. Adult, Senior, Under 5
Last seen Date of last transaction of any kind not just the loan of an item of
stock
Last issued Date when a stock item was last issued to the member
Issues Total number of physical stock items issued to a member since
registration
Gender 1= Male, 2= Female
Birth Date of birth
Postcode Postcode of the member’s registered address
Registered The date the member registered
PC user 1= member has used a public computer, 0= member has not used
a public computer
eBook user 1= member has used the eBook service, 0= member has not used
the eBook service
eMagazine user 1= member has used the eMagazine service , 0= member has not
used the eMagazine service
Devon Libraries - membership categories

Categories are used to define different entitlements and concessions

Category Description
5-12 Children aged 5-12 years
13-15 Young people aged 13-15 years
13-15 Disabled Young people aged 13-15 years with a disability
16 - 17 Young people aged 16-17 years
16 - 17 Disabled Young people aged 16-17 years with a disability
5-12 Disabled Children aged 5-12 years with a disability
Adult 18-64 years
Adult Mobile Adult using a mobile library
Carer Someone with caring responsibilities
Childminder Childminder - increased loan entitlement
CIC 13-15 Young people in care aged 13-15 years
CIC 16-17 Young people in care aged 16-17 years
CIC 5-12 Children in care aged 5-12 years
CIC Under 5 Pre-school children in care
Class Similar to teacher - increased loan entitlement
Class ticket where all or a significant number of children have a
Class - Disabled disability
Disabled Self-declared disability of any type
Housebound People receiving the Home Library Service
Used for other library authorities when loaning stock outside the
I.L.L. county
Miscellaneous Internal use - can be used for things like a library display shelf
Pre School Similar to teacher - increased loan entitlement for pre-school worker
Pseudo (Locally
Defined) Internal use for library service points
Reading Group Reading Group signed up to the reading group service
Self-Registered - Adult Adult joining online
Self-Registered - Young Child / young person joining online
Senior 65 years and over
Special Services Now largely redundant - used to be used for care homes
Staff Members of library staff
Teacher Allows a higher number of loans
Under 5 Pre-school children
Under 5 - Disabled Pre-school children with a disability
Visitor Temporary ticket - someone not living, working or studying in Devon