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February 6, 2023

What is the average publication date of your collection? How many non-fiction books do you have compared to fiction books? You can find the answers without too much trouble, and use them to plan for the future of your library's collection.

These numbers may not mean a lot by themselves, but together they can help you gain an overall analysis of your collection, and are especially helpful in planning future weeding and purchasing. 

The way to get cool numbers out of Alexandria is by running the Super Summary report. 

  1. In Reports, go to the Collection Analysis category.

  2. Choose the Super Summary report, and use the Options tab to enter your fiscal year to get accurate information on new items, what was lost, discarded, and checked out during that time. Then click Run. It may take some time to complete. 

  3. In Operations Management, download the report PDF and take a look!

Let's practice using a Super Summary to analyze a collection's age and fiction to nonfiction distribution using the report pdf to the right. You'll want to look at two sections for this example—Collection Statistics, which gives you numbers of titles/copies, and Age Statistics, which shows average year. 

Let's try to answer these questions now based on this example from our demo. Some might require a little math.

  1. How many non-fiction books? = 2636 (by adding the non-fiction call number results and Biography)

  2. How many fiction books? = 4112

  3. What's the average copyright date of non-fiction books? 1975 (by averaging the non-fiction category years with Biography) 

  4. What's the average copyright date of fiction books? = 1978

In this example, we didn't count Easy readers, "Other," or anything without a copy or call number. Because of variables, you might not be able to get exact numbers, but it's enough to get a pretty good idea!

Have any questions about Super Summary stats? Reach out to our amazing Support team at 1-800-347-4942.

What is a good average age? What is a good distribution? What can you actually do with these results? Leave a comment and tell us how you find them useful!

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