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Questions on PlayAways, Career Fairs, and Fair Booths

Page history last edited by Kim Miller 10 years, 11 months ago

Original Question July 18, 2013


Joyce Chapman (NC)


I gave a webinar yesterday for all my libraries to prepare them for this year’s survey, which has just opened. It’s my first year administering the survey. I got three questions that I wasn’t sure of the best answer to.


First, NC is counting two different types of audio circulation: downloadables and stuff on physical media like CDs. I was asked where to count circulation for audiobooks checked out on PlayAways. Now, I’ve never worked in a public library and my understanding of what a PlayAway is could be wrong. But my instinct was to count it as a downloadable because it’s a digital file that library staff downloaded for a patron onto a device, which they then lent out. The person asking thought it would count in the category of analog audio circulation (maybe not the best word… audio on CDs or tapes), because it’s on a physical device. Am I right that the audio itself is purchased and uploaded on to these devices?


Career fairs: if a library hosts a career fair, is this counted as a program and can attendance be counted? If a library has a booth at someone else’s career fair, can this be counted as a program and can everyone who comes and talks to them be counted as attendees? Same question for county fairs, if we have a booth at a county fair, can that be counted for a program?



SDC Comments


Scott Dermont (IA)


I would actually count a Playaway as a physical item not as a downloadable. You purchase the item as a unit, you don’t download to it, it already has the content loaded on the device when you purchase it. It is a single use device that can only ever play the book that has been loaded onto it. Actually, even if you were downloading to it, I would still call the checkout of the player as a physical checkout rather than downloadable. So, if the library loads up a Nook, and checks it out, I call that a physical circulation. If a patron downloads an audiobook for e-book from a service like Overdrive, I call that a downloadable circ. At least in my mind, those are two very different transactions.


I have been counting attendance at fair booths like a program only if they are doing some kind of programming. I don’t see the act of handing out a flyer as a program. But I do see it as a program if they are doing a story time, or something like that. In either case, I think they have to be careful to only count attendance at the booth and not at the entire fair.


I would count the career fair held at the library as a program. To me that is more cut and dried than a booth at the state fair.



Nicolle Steffen (CO)


I agree with Scott and would offer similar advise to Colorado’s library administrators.



Ann Reed (OR)


I would say the caveat to the career fair, and programming at the library, is  - did the library help sponsor the event?   If all the work was done by someone else who just happened to use their meeting room, then it wouldn’t count.



Scott Dermont (IA)


Yes, I would definitely agree with Ann here. The library still needs to sponsor the career fair in some way beyond just letting them use a room. I read the word “host” in Joyce’s statement and assumed “sponsor.” But it really needs to be more than just the use of their space.








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