Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Statistics Tell the Story

My blog is not exactly at the center of the universe. On a good day maybe three or four people read what I write and those are mostly family members. That is why the reaction to the past five "Tough Love" posts about the library where I used to work is so astounding. Here are the statistics:

  • 151 new visitors
  • 372 visits
  • 1028 page views (each blog post is a page)
  • 5.05 minutes average time on site
Of the 35 or 40 comments I have received either here or via email, 2 people said there are no problems at this library and everyone is happy.

Do the statistics tell the story?!?


  1. You bet they do!

  2. Had a sociology prof and dear friend once tell me "Statistics are the raw material of dreams of professionals...we ignore them at our peril" once when I was sweating the small stuff about number cruching stifling my poetic response to a situation. Gotta love that we can now let the computer apps beaver away in the background doing the numbers then produce them when we need to don the professional hat. Gotta love that spirit of Dottie Mae too!

  3. I would like to apologize to the person who wrote the next comment. It was necessary to edit out the name of the library and in doing so the comment shows up as being posted as anonymous. Most of the people who are interested in this blog, know what library we are talking about so I would rather keep the name of the organization and individuals out of the posts.

    Thank you for taking the time to enter the dialogue.

  4. If you want to see comparative information relating to this library and other public libraries in Washington State, go to and look at statistics. However, these statistics don't reveal the entire picture. You need to lift the rug and look under for the details, because as Mark Twain once said, "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics." For example, in approximately the last five years, the Administrative staffing budget has skyrocketed from about half a million to nearly a full million dollars. While some increase is defensible, this is beyond the pale. A large percentage of this money should have gone into front line staffing and books and materials, as opposed to building an ivory tower. These days, one can't even enter the locked Administration wing at SW without an advance appointment and an escort. Whereas in all the previous Administrations, the door was open. What is it Administration fears? Terrorists? Where is the huge reserve fund that the previous Administration bequeathed to the current regime-- nearly three-quarters of a million dollars, as near as anyone can tell from the arcane economic reports? While this writer loves the library, a levy is something that should be vigorously opposed until some of the fat is lopped off the Administrative staff (several of whom are grossly overpaid in relation to their skill level) and redistributed. Also, the recent escalation of "Administrative Leave" where a staff person is PAID to stay home simply boggles the mind. How much money has this library essentially burned in a bonfire paying people NOT to work? This is punishment? Well for many, yes, it is. For the public, yes, it is, because it wastes taxpayer dollars. Someone needs to make the Administration deliver an accounting of how much Administrative Leave has cost the system since the current Director took office. Good people, Administrative Leave amounts to nothing more than fear tactics, and a somewhat insidious form of psychological torture. People placed under Administrative Leave are given gag orders, and aren't even given the right to face their accusors. It's time for a few changes; a bit of humaneness, a little more fiscal responsibility, and some honest dialog between the workers and the leaders without fear of reprisal.