Starting from a basis laid by Burrell, this paper develops a stochastic model of library borrowing using the Negative Binomial distribution. This shows an improvement over previous characterizations for academic libraries and accords well with new data obtained at Huddersfield Public Library. Evidence concerning the process of issue decay is presented and employed to obtain an optimum stock turnover rate for any collection in its ‘steady state’. A method is then given by which simple relegation tests can be constructed to maintain such as optimum turnover. Although not the ‘final word’ in circulation modelling, the negative binomial distribution extends the range of model applicability into the area of high volume, rapid movement collections with some success.
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