Wrong Numbers Used in HAPLR Report, Says American Libraries

American Libraries has discovered an unfortunate error that invalidates the results of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings published in the October 2008 issue of the magazine of the American Library Association.

Thomas J. Hennen Jr., author of this independent study, discovered after the issue was mailed that the figures used in compiling the statistics were the same as those used in 2006.

The new numbers will be posted on the HAPLR website. The corrected tables will also appear in PDF format as soon as possible on the American Libraries website, as well as in the November issue of the magazine.

“Technology is a wonder; it can also be a horror,” said Hennen. “I referred to the wrong data set in my computer files. The result was republishing the last edition, scoring and ranking every library the same for the 2008 as for the 2006 edition. I have now redone things, and I apologize to everyone for this terrible mistake.”

“We sincerely regret this error and the confusion it will undoubtedly cause,” said Leonard Kniffel, American Libraries editor-in-chief. “The HAPLR rankings have been used by many libraries to tout their success to local media, so it is important to get the correct numbers and rankings on the record as quickly as possible.”

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