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

Bree Norlander filed this request with the Manlius Library of Manlius, NY.

It is a clone of this request.



From: Bree Norlander

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, I hereby request the following records:

1. Total circulation of library materials (broken down by material type) for 2017, 2018, 2019. Please provide these as aggregated monthly totals for 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 2017, 2018, and 2019.

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

4. Annual itemized library budget 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 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 2017 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


Attached is a spreadsheet that should answer several of your questions with further answers below. Please be aware that data from mid-2019 onward is not useful for statistical analysis as the system suffered a ransomware attack from which it is still not fully recovered.

It is unfortunate that you did not reach out directly as definitions used by libraries for the information you requested can vary greatly and a conversation may have been beneficial.

Per your request:

1 - aggregated monthly circulation by material type for 2017-2019 is included in the 1st tab. 1st time check-outs vs renewals were not delineated due to significant data mining required into system-level database to retrieve these statistics which have not been collected/reviewed previously at Manlius Library.

2 - lost items aggregated monthly for 2017-2019 is in the 2nd tab.

3 - data unavailable - historical patron checkout data is unavailable to member libraries due to patron confidentiality

4 - itemized budgets for 2017 - 2019 are in the 3rd tab. Donations are received throughout the year although there is a mailing that is sent out to previous donors each November along with an annual appeal or our November newsletter.

5 - included in the budgets in the 3rd tab requested as part of #4

6 - Fine-free applies to juvenile and young adult items as of 1/1/2019. Patrons who are veterans or active-duty military have fine-free cards as of 5/1/2019.

7 - None.

[cid:image003.jpg@01D5F17B.5C0376E0]Jennifer Milligan
Executive Director
One Arkie Albanese Ave.
Manlius, NY 13104
(315) 682-6400<>


Also, please be aware, that while I was happy to provide data to support your research, Manlius Library is an association library, a private not-for-profit organization, and as such is not subject to FOIL.

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From: Bree Norlander

Dear Jennifer,

I did not realize that Manlius was a private not-for-profit organizations so extra thanks to you for fulfilling our 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