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Contribution to Book
Using Libstats Statistical Tracking Software to Assess Library Services for Strategic Planning
Leading the Reference Renaissance: Today's Ideas for Tomorrow's Cutting Edge Services (2011)
  • Emily K Chan, San Jose State University
  • Lorrie A Knight, University of the Pacific
Abstract
In today’s numbers-driven environment, organizations need to quantify performance and impact for planning and administrative purposes. Strategic planning connects current positions to future directions. Data collection and analysis is one vital piece that informs the process. The University of the Pacific Library is successfully using an open-source management system to track all library employee-mediated interactions. This software has been especially illuminating for the librarians who offer reference services. The following information is collected from every reference interaction: duration of exchange, method of asking, time/date stamping, patron type, question type, and the question and answer provided. The amassed data help to measure use patterns to inform the delivery of reference services. Implementation of a reference statistics system provides opportunities for strategic and individualized training and development, adjusting staffing levels to meet user needs and patterns, and measuring the effect of librarians’ instructional sessions on reference traffic. Moreover, since all Library service points are incorporated into this management system, peer-to-peer information sharing can be facilitated, aggregated, and managed. Collected data can be analyzed and tailored to different audiences. Data points are both quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data can be organized and manipulated through spreadsheet applications to generate reports. Qualitative data can be aggregated to demonstrate the range and diversity of the questions fielded by the librarians or searched as an information archive. Data can be mined to demonstrate the Library’s effectiveness and contributions to the university’s educational mission. Reference tracking software is a powerful tool to manage service points, provide data to administrators, and support strategic service evaluation and planning.
Keywords
  • Reference Services,
  • Automation,
  • Analytics
Publication Date
2011
Editor
Marie L. Radford
Publisher
Neal-Schuman, Inc.
ISBN
978-1555707712
Citation Information
Emily K Chan and Lorrie A Knight. "Using Libstats Statistical Tracking Software to Assess Library Services for Strategic Planning" New YorkLeading the Reference Renaissance: Today's Ideas for Tomorrow's Cutting Edge Services (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/emily_chan/2/