Monday 'Minder 2023.02


Topic: Remember that UCat1! 

As usual, the Annual Report (AR) statistics run at year's end expose a host of errors in our data--especially patron data. Did you know that a circ to someone with a wrong Ucat1 today will still count as a circ to that bad Ucat1 in next year's AR--even if you fix the patron record tomorrow?  Read More...

Circulation statistics based on Ucat1 come from log files which record every transaction that occurred on any given day. There is one log for a historical record, and another that is stripped down to just statistically revelant data. These daily logs get added together into monthly logs. The statistics reports we run search through each of the monthly statistical log files looking for and counting the transactions that meet the criteria of our report. 

Since the logs are snapshots of each day's transactions and just get added together, circulation stats record the user information as it was on the day of the circulation transaction. This preserves the circ and patron data so that we can go back at any time and run circulation reports.  However...

Patron Count statistics look at the database directly and count the number of patrons with a given Ucat1 at that moment and don't take into account if the patron used to have a different Ucat1. It is a snapshot.

The sticking point with Patron Counts is that for the AR we only want to know those patrons who have been active in the past 3 years.  So, to obtain the annual resident-nonresident patron counts, we limit it to patrons whose Last Activity Date was between 1-1-2020 and 12-31-2022.  In order for the report to match the calendar year, this report must be run in the night between Dec 31st and Jan 1st--and every next time we run it we will get slightly different results.

Why? Consider this scenario: You have a regular patron who used their card a million bazillion times in 2022. If the last time they used it was the wee hours of Jan 1st 2023 (like they renewed something online), that patron won't get counted because now their last activity was in 2023 and not in 2022. Granted, the number affected in the scenario above isn't statistically relevant. But it explains why count reports are time sensitive

This also explains mysteries like how your Circulation stats can show circulation from a patron with UserCat1 of XXX in 2022, but your patron count shows you don't have any patrons with that UserCat. 

There are 2 reports in BC Analytics that you can use to check your users' UserCat1: one to identify any users with blank or UNKNOWN Ucat1s and another that lets you list any users with a specific UCat1.

If you have questions about how to run these reports, contact Melissa (klein at 

And make sure to always, alwayscheck & update patrons' UserCats (1 & 2, but esp 1) every time you renew a patron's card or register a new patron.

That's it for this week... Make today a nice day!! 

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