Saturday, November 6, 2010
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM
The data in our library catalogs can be recombined in many ways to tell us about our users. In this presentation, I will describe an evaluation project I did that used easy-to-access data about library holdings, circulation, and InterLibrary Loan requests to reveal user behavior from several different angles. As my data all came directly from the software we already use, my methods should be replicable without using a dedicated collection analysis product.
The collection evaluation includes two angles: course-based circulation statistics, and a comparison of ILL and circulation. In order to determine which courses most heavily use library resources, each 200-level course was assigned a call number range, so that I could look at holdings and circulation history for each course. I will discuss what these numbers told me, what they didn’t tell me, and further steps that might help me make meaning from the data. As another measure of how well we are meeting user needs, I also compared InterLibrary Loan data to circulation data to see how often users’ needs were met by books we own versus books they need to request from other libraries. I will discuss how my library plans to use this information to inform collection development in the future and will note other data that attendees could consider collecting.
Audience members will benefit from seeing concrete steps that can be replicated in almost any library. I hope that the audience will also share their own systems for evaluation.