Data-driven transformation of library services:Using evidence-based practice to enhance decisionmaking based on sub-optima...
Where in the world?ChicagoHammond
Remodeling the library
Optimize staffingImage courtesy of the Closed Stacks blog –http://www.closedstacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/andres-d...
Improve overall service fromthe patron’s perspective
Need to move from business as usual• Decisions made based on– Beliefs and Opinion– Assumptions– Anecdotal evidence– Prefer...
Limited data• Basic head counts• Rudimentary indicators– Question type– Duration
Evidence-based information practice• Promotes the– collection,– interpretation, and– integration of• Valid, important, and...
Data provides the primary evidence formaking decisions• Not anecdotal stories– Because these are not evidentiary– However,...
How does evidence-based professionalpractice work?
Evidence-based practice flow
Evaluating research findings
Levels of evidenceAdapted from Eldredge, J. (2000). Evidence-based librarianship: An overview. Bulle tin o f the Me dicalL...
Transactions by hour
Transactions by hour by type
Digging into the data• The library definitely has peaks and valleys ofuse• Less than half of the reference questions werer...
Decisions made based on the dataafter consulting other studies• Combine circulation and reference servicepoint• Train our ...
Subsequent adaptation• Not strictly reference on demand– “Peak” reference desk hours
Evidence-based informationpractice can help• Ease decision making inconditions of uncertainty– Lack of data/less thanoptim...
Thank youFrank Cervone, Ph.D.Vice Chancellor for Information Services and CIOPurdue University Calumetfcervone@purduecal.edu
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Data-driven transformation of library services: Using evidence-based practice to enhance decision making based on sub-optimal data

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Many libraries are interested in changing the model they use for providing reference service from a just-in-case to a just-in-time model. However, often there is no good set of indicators in place that would help drive the decision making process. In this paper, the author will describe the evidence-based techniques and practices used at the Purdue University Calumet library to transform reference services from a traditional “sitting at the desk” model to a just-in-time, consultative approach. By using relatively simple data collection and analysis techniques, the staff in the library were able to develop a new approach to offering reference services that provides greater availability of librarians to students and faculty without an increase in staffing. Perhaps most significantly, the evidence-based techniques used by the staff should be able to be easily applied to other environments without overburdening librarians with data collection activities or complex analyses.

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Data-driven transformation of library services: Using evidence-based practice to enhance decision making based on sub-optimal data

  1. 1. Data-driven transformation of library services:Using evidence-based practice to enhance decisionmaking based on sub-optimal dataFrank CervoneVice Chancellor for Information Services and CIOPurdue University CalumetHammond, IN, USQualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries 2012Limerick IrelandMay 25, 2012
  2. 2. Where in the world?ChicagoHammond
  3. 3. Remodeling the library
  4. 4. Optimize staffingImage courtesy of the Closed Stacks blog –http://www.closedstacks.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/andres-desk.jpg
  5. 5. Improve overall service fromthe patron’s perspective
  6. 6. Need to move from business as usual• Decisions made based on– Beliefs and Opinion– Assumptions– Anecdotal evidence– Preferences• Evaluation, if it occurs, happens afterward
  7. 7. Limited data• Basic head counts• Rudimentary indicators– Question type– Duration
  8. 8. Evidence-based information practice• Promotes the– collection,– interpretation, and– integration of• Valid, important, and applicable– user-reported,– librarian-observed, and– research-derived evidence
  9. 9. Data provides the primary evidence formaking decisions• Not anecdotal stories– Because these are not evidentiary– However, they do provide a base for inquiry• Not “common sense”• Evaluation is integrated throughout theprocess
  10. 10. How does evidence-based professionalpractice work?
  11. 11. Evidence-based practice flow
  12. 12. Evaluating research findings
  13. 13. Levels of evidenceAdapted from Eldredge, J. (2000). Evidence-based librarianship: An overview. Bulle tin o f the Me dicalLibraryAsso ciatio n, 8 8 (4). pp: 289-302. Online at http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=35250
  14. 14. Transactions by hour
  15. 15. Transactions by hour by type
  16. 16. Digging into the data• The library definitely has peaks and valleys ofuse• Less than half of the reference questions werereally reference questions– Most were not complex questions• Dispatched in less than 1 minute• Majority of others were “advice” questions– Dispatched in less than 5 minutes• Rarely more than 5 questions a day of acomplex nature
  17. 17. Decisions made based on the dataafter consulting other studies• Combine circulation and reference servicepoint• Train our public services staff on “basic”reference questions• “Reference on demand”
  18. 18. Subsequent adaptation• Not strictly reference on demand– “Peak” reference desk hours
  19. 19. Evidence-based informationpractice can help• Ease decision making inconditions of uncertainty– Lack of data/less thanoptimal data• Move the library forward– Providing a baseline forcurrent and emergingpractice
  20. 20. Thank youFrank Cervone, Ph.D.Vice Chancellor for Information Services and CIOPurdue University Calumetfcervone@purduecal.edu

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