In addition to subscriptions to the Normative Data Project (NDP), we are now making available reports generated using NDP. It is our hope that the library community will find these useful. Initially, we are offering reports that list items that circulated the most in 2005 in libraries contributing data to the NDP from their integrated library systems. We have two kinds of reports.
- We have a list of the 100 highest circulating biographies. This will be the first of these subject bibliographies.
- The bulk of these reports, however, are currently those representing materials that according to the MARC records from these libraries are designated with a language. We have four so far: French, German, Russian, and Spanish. For each, we have books and DVDs.
The idea behind doing reports of circulations by language is that we noticed in analyzing the NDP data that even though foreign language materials comprise 1% of the holdings and circulations, that underlying that fact is that foreign language materials circulate at a much higher percentage than their holdings would suggest. Given that we have an increasing number of library users who are native speakers of many languages, identifying materials they will find engaging is a useful problem to solve.
In the process of working on these lists, we made a number of observations about the use of these various materials that we will detail in subsequent reports. A few observations for now:
- The types of books in the different languages vary a great deal.
- For some languages, particularly French and German, many books in these languages are for English speakers both to learn those languages and to serve as tourist guides such as those by Michelin and Fodor.
- DVDs presented a bit of a surprise – while French, German, and Russian have a good number of movies of opera performances, the four DVD lists are largely what one might consider art or genre films. There appears to be a very active use of these materials and it appears likely that this use is not restricted to speakers of those languages if one can judge from Amazon reviews and the fact that DVDs now commonly have subtitles or dubbing in a variety of languages.