What you should know

1. What is it?

Library Statistics 2016 is a set of official biennial statistics forming part of the Annual Programme for Statistical Action for 2017 (action 04 07 02), provided for by the Law 5/2016, of December 23, on the Statistical Plan for Catalonia for the period 2017–2020. These statistics are produced though a collaboration agreement between Idescat and INE.

2. What are the objectives?

The aim of Library Statistics is to produce statistical information on the main characteristics of libraries: structure, operations, the equipment they have, the volume and qualifications of the staff involved, as well as the costs and the services they offer.

As specific objectives:

  • Provide information in relation to the physical and human resources in all types of library
  • Provide information on advances in new technologies, especially in terms of the implementation of Internet and the increase in lending services
  • Find out about the turnover and financing of libraries and measure biennial variations produced by the activity
  • Produce statistical information to be compared on a state and international scale

Library Statistics are the continuation of a series initiated in 1992 by Idescat. The information is obtained in accordance with the definitions contained in ISO regulation 2789, which in the year 2000 modified the recommendations of the definitions used by UNESCO (approved in November 1970) by General Conference.

3. Who is this information requested from?

The unit of analysis of this statistical operation is the library. According to regulation ISO 2789, a library is any organisation or part of an organisation whose main purpose is to collect or maintain an organised collection of documents and facilitate use of the information resources in order to cater for its users' information, research, education, cultural or recreational needs.

From the statistical point of view, there are two relevant definitions:

  1. The library as an administrative unit, i.e. a library or group of libraries under the same management or a single administration, with the capacity to manage and administrate itself.
  2. The library as a service point, i.e. any site belonging to a library or group of libraries that provide services to its users.

These statistics are of a census nature and collect information on all libraries, except on private libraries (which are not open to the public) and on school and military libraries.

The geographical area of operation is that constituting the Catalan territory.

4. Is the information used in the survey properly protected?

The data of an individual nature in Library Statistics is governed by the regulations for statistical secrecy under the terms established by the Law 23/1998, of 30th December 1998, on statistics in Catalonia. This means that individualised data collected in questionnaires cannot be published or communicated to any person or entity, not even public administrations, apart from those that are also bound to the obligations of statistical secrecy.

Thus, all Idescat personnel or other bodies that participate in the official statistics for Catalonia make a solemn declaration that they shall preserve statistical secrecy and be subjected to severe penalties should they violate that declaration.

Similarly, the obligation to preserve statistical secrecy is also extended to the publication of the results, whereby Idescat, like all other bodies involved in the Statistical System of Catalonia, takes special care to avoid the detection of data of an individual nature in the information published in tabulated form.

5. Is response obligatory?

Given the nature of public interest, established by the Parliament of Catalonia, of all statistics forming part of the Statistical Plan for Catalonia, the collaboration of the population and companies in responding to questionnaires is a legal obligation, in order to guarantee the adequate quota of responses and, consequently, reliable statistical results.

The compulsory nature of the information is regulated by Chapter V of the Law 23/1998, of 30th December 1998, on statistics in Catalonia, and more specifically by Article 38: "All citizens, entities and institutions are obliged by law to provide the information requested and this information must be complete and truthful".

6. How is the survey conducted?

Data collection for Library Statistics 2016 is first conducted by the CAWI (Computer Assisted Web Interview) system in order to assist the libraries in providing the information.

Previously, libraries have received a signed letter from the INE and Idescat addresses that specifies the objectives and characteristics of the survey. They will be provided with an Internet address, along with a code and password, to be used to answer the survey.

7. When does the data collection process take place?

Fieldworks will be performed from March 8 to May 31, 2017.

8. Where can the results of the survey be found?

The statistical results are published for free on the Idescat website.

9. Where can I request information?

For any type of query regarding the content of this survey or any other doubts, please contact: