Ratio analysis technique : a tool for assessing the health of a library

  • Sridhar M
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Ratio Analysis Technique (RAT) is not new to librarians. Ratios are at times, better than raw statistical data about libraries. Ratios not only help assessing the health of a library but also come handy for comparing performance of two libraries and enable one to project the growth trend of a library. Explains the complementary relation of ratios with standards for libraries and RAT as propounded in Financial Management. Points out that ratios are not totally free from flaws and enumerates their limitations. Explains how RAT can be applied to libraries by choosing seven variables of a library. Demonstrates 16 ratios from seven variables for ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) Library based on data for the last 13 years. The budget, space, staff, users, collection, annual addition and use / loan ratios of ISAC Library are interpreted to assess the health of the library and to project the growth trend. Concludes that in spite of its limitations, RAT is a useful tool for assessing the quantitative aspects of libraries provided extra care is taken in applying RAT to libraries. Further, there is a greater need for developing standards for libraries in the form of ratios so that RAT can be effectively used in assessing libraries.

Author-supplied keywords

  • library assessment
  • library standards
  • ratio analysis technique

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  • M S Sridhar

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