Reading Bostwick’s account of statistics and reporting got me wondering about how much has changed in the past century. Not enough, perhaps, based on some recent information.
2002′s Accountability versus Count-Ability characterized the majority of library data collection as wasted effort.
2008′s Why Do We Count What We Count – And Does It Matter? captured three librarians reflecting on the widespread (and wasteful) use of legacy counting practices.
And recent personal accounts (here, here and here, for example) seemed in line with Bostwick’s observations.
So, what would happen if librarians held a six-month moratorium on counting? What are the services that could not be delivered or work that could not be performed? What new services would not be created?