HAPLR 2.0 Metric Study for Porter County Library System in Indiana

The research for these reports  was conducted in the fall of 2017 and the winter of 2018. The reports provide perspective for evaluating how the Porter County Library System  compares to similar libraries throughout the country.  The reports rely on data compiled by individual libraries throughout the U.S. by state libraries and the federal government’s Institute for Museums and Library Services (IMLS).


Porter County HAPLR 2.0 Metrics Study January 2018 (PDF)

This report uses the most recent IMLS dataset that was published in September of 2017.  The reports move from the historical to the more general and then to the very specific.  We start by looking at 25 year trends in library data for over 929 of the nation’s libraries that are of a comparable size to Porter County Library.  Next, we narrow the field of observation to look at the average input and output statistics for broad groupings.  This allows us to compare items such as staffing to broad but more comparable groupings of libraries, which in turn allows us to begin to see patterns of strengths and weaknesses.  Finally, we sort the field even more closely, narrowing it to just 11 of those libraries, “best practice peers.”  Here we specifically looked for libraries that have numbers that appear better than Porter County Library’s.  This report is expanded by the 3 PowerPoint presentations listed below.  The first one illustrates HAPLR 2.0 as applied to peers chosen in this project.  The second looks at 25 years of metric data for Porter County Library System and comparable groups of libraries.  The third covers metric data for the most current available for Porter and selected peers.


  1. Porter County HAPLR 2.0 WITH Video Final Jan. 2018
  2. Porter County HISTORICAL Metrics Study Final Jan. 2018
  3. Porter County Metric CURRENT Metrics Final 2018

Porter County Best Practice Questionnaire Responses April 2018

We used broad category comparisons as well as historical data for the comparison report.  After an extensive search, we narrowed the field to just a 12 of the over 9,000 libraries in the U.S.  Based on further examination of the metrics, we chose three of that dozen as “Best Practice Libraries.” (See Section 2 of this report for a further discussion of the methodology.)  We prepared questionnaires tailored to the specific findings of our research for each of these directors.  The library directors interviewed for this report were:

  • Carmel Clay Public Library in Indiana – Robert Swanay, Director.
  • Calvert Library in Maryland – Carrie Plymire, Director.
  • Lakewood Public Library in Ohio – James Crawford, Director.