Public Library Circulation, Anonymized Patron Access Records, and Budget Information

Bree Norlander filed this request with the Manchester City Library of Manchester, NH.

It is a clone of this request.



From: Bree Norlander

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New Hampshire Right to Know Law, I hereby request the following records:

1. Total circulation of library materials (broken down by material type) for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. Please provide these as aggregated monthly totals for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. If possible please include the following details:

-Total physical item circulation (delineated by first time check-outs versus renewals)
-Total number of circulations of electronic materials
-Total circulation
-Electronic Content Use
-Total Collection Use

2. Lost library items aggregated monthly for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

3. Patron circulation records including material due dates and material return dates for 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. If possible, please provide these as hashed (de-identified but with unique key per patron).

4. Annual itemized library budget 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 including any donations made to the library. Please provide a record of donations collected aggregated monthly for these years. Please also provide a description of how donations are solicited.

5. The total revenue of fines and total revenue of fees collected 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.

6. The current library policy on fines and fees and the date this policy took effect as well as dates of changes to the policy between 2016 and today.

7. The definition (if any) your library uses for "active borrower".


This request is part of a research project by the Information School at the University of Washington to better understand how removal of library fines affects library circulation, patron visits, and library budgets. We are committed to open access and plan to make our findings broadly available to the public. If fees cannot be waived please inform us in advance.

We ask that, if possible, you please respond via email with data files in machine-readable format (examples include .csv, .txt., .xls/x) or if applicable text documents or clear, high-quality scanned PDFs. If you cannot reply electronically, please mail us the best quality copies you reasonably can. Your efforts help us ensure broad accessibility and equity.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Bree Norlander

From: Manchester City Library

Dear Ms. Norlander,

Per your Right to Know request that we received on March 1, 2020 we are providing the library statistical data we compile annually. Please see my responses below:

#1 This info can be found via our state report which is compiled annually by all NH Public Libraries.

#2 Lost items- Totals per year are as follows: 2016-233; 2017-227; 2018-211; 2019-156.

#3 Per NH State law patron record information is confidential (RSA 202 D:11.) Thus we do not retain this data.

#4 & 5 Our financial information is on our website in our Fiscal Year reports . I have also attached FY19 numbers as that report is still being compiled.

If you wish to see more city budget details that can be found at

#6 & #7 Please visit The circulation policy was revised in September of 2018.

If you should neither further documentation you may visit us at the main library during operational hours and fees may apply for any hard copy documentation you may require per city policy. For more information please go to

Best wishes on compiling your research and I look forward to reading the results.


Denise M. van Zanten
Library Director
Manchester City Library
405 Pine Street
Manchester, NH 03104
603-624-6550 X3329


The Right-To-Know Law (RSA 91-A) provides that most e-mail communications, to or from City employees and City volunteers regarding the business of the City of Manchester, are government records available to the public upon request. Therefore, this email communication may be subject to public disclosure.

From: Bree Norlander

Dear Denise,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! Your response will greatly assist us with our research into the elimination of fines in public libraries.

Bree Norlander
Research Analyst & Coordinator
University of Washington Information School