My Aleph knowledge is getting pretty rusty since we migrated off Aleph in
2014. I bet there are folks out there who know more about Aleph.
In our setup at least the aggregate circ count for each item was stored in
the items table (z30). Another person on the list suggested z36h. It's an
option whether you keep z36h and our library did not when we were on Aleph.
If you want to get picky about which types of circ transactions or what
date ranges count in your analysis you may want to look at the events table
And of course, you will want to keep in mind when the items were added to
your collection. An item that was added 10 years ago has had more of an
opportunity to circulate than one added in the last year. There's a slot
for the item add date in the z30. You may want to consult with your staff
locally about your practices for maintaining this sort of data in Aleph.
Aleph is pretty flexible and a lot depends on your local configuration.
Another thing to keep in mind is that circ stats are recorded per ITEM not
per bib, so you will want to work with the data to get it at the bib record
level (let's not talk about the "work" level, OK). You will need to use
your SQL to pull together information from various tables to put the
information together. That requires some knowledge about the tables and the
"hooks" between them. Fortunately Ex Libris has pretty good documentation
on their customer site about all the Aleph tables and what fields are in
All that said, I am unconvinced that one academic library's circulation
records, even that of a large one like Notre Dame, serve as an accurate
meter for popularity (meaning a lot of people like it). Your circulation
records may indeed be suggestive of the research interests and course
assignments at your university. Since there is a power dynamic in a
university, a professor's feelings about a particular work may lead them to
require it for their class, causing many students to grudgingly check it
out. Another thing to consider is that there may be a selection bias
because of your loan periods or the number of copies available in your
collection. If you allow longer loan periods or more renewals for some
classes of patrons, that could weight a "circulation" differently for
different types of patrons. And, if you have more copies available for
loan, the title may circulate more because it is more frequently available.
Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary Library
On Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 5:08 PM, Eric Lease Morgan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Does anybody here know how to extract circulation statistics from an
> library catalog? Specifically, given a date range, are you able to create a
> list of the most frequently borrowed books ordered by the number of times
> they’ve been circulated?
> I have a colleague who wants to digitize sets of modern literature and
> then do text analysis against the result. In an effort to do the analysis
> against popular literature, he wants to create a list of… popular titles.
> Getting a list of such a thing from library circulation statistics sounds
> like a logical option to me.
> Does somebody here know how to do this? If you know how to do it against
> Ex Libris’s Aleph, then that is a bonus.
> Eric Morgan