Open Data Catalogue



What is Open Data

Open data is defined as non-personally identifiable data that is made freely available to everyone in one or more open and accessible formats.

VPL's open data are sets of aggregated data in three general categories (collections, circulation, and borrower demographics) all describing the Vancouver Public Library collections and use of materials in the collections by Library patrons.

None of these data sets include titles of materials in the Library.  The Library Catalogue contains bibliographic records for all the titles in the collection.  Linked to the bibliographic records are item records which represent the individual holdings of a title.

  1. Data about the size of the collection(s).  These ownership data are aggregated by branch, by collection codes which identify both format and location of the material within the library, and by item types which identify material by format.

    The Library sub-divides the material in these ways in order to manage circulation and requests as well as to provide labeling in the online catalogue so that an item can be located in the library.

    The Library collects these data annually for planning purposes and to report information about the size and makeup of the collection to various partners.

    Certain specific collections, such as the Multilingual Collection and the Large Print Collection are presented in separate reports.  Other collections or grouping of collections can be extracted from the larger reports:  “Statistics for Reference Material” and “Statistics for Non-Reference Material”

    Reference material is material which does not circulate.  Separate counts are kept of reference and circulating (non-reference) material to facilitate further comparisons.

  2. Data about circulation.  These are counts, by calendar year and location of how often items in the VPL collection were checked out. Data are aggregated by branch, by collection codes which identify both format and location of the material within the library, and by item types which identify material by format.

    The Library sub-divides the material in these ways in order to manage circulation and requests as well as to provide labeling in the online catalogue so that an item can be located in the library.

    Library patrons have the option of picking up requested material at any branch, and when they do so, the circulation is recorded at the location where the material was checked out.  It is therefore possible to see in the circulation reports that, for example, ‘Branch Adult Fiction’ circulated at Central or ‘Division Non-Fiction’ (referring to the Central Library) circulated at the Kerrisdale Branch.

    Circulation by call number range [call_type] provides a breakdown of the circulation by subject areas.  Call number ranges are listed with their beginning number.  Each range ends where the next begins.

    CKO and CKI stats are counts of circulation activities by location.  These include checkouts, checkins, renewals, requests and borrower registrations.
    The Library collects these data for planning purposes and for reporting on activity levels.

  3. Data about circulation by patron characteristics.  Counts by borrower statistical class [bstat] are counts, by calendar year and location where the material was checked out of year of birth, postal forward sorting address [FSA], and city of the patron who borrowed the material.  Counts by borrower type [btype] are counts of circulation by the type of borrower (adult, child, visitor, etc.)

    The Library captures these characteristics of patrons who borrow material for planning purposes.  Patron privacy is an important tenet of Library service, so care is taken to aggregate data at a high level and more detailed historical data about material checked out of the library is not retained once material has been returned.

james.bond@vpl.ca