Library intelligence notes


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Libraries routinely gather and report data about their budgets, collections, staff, services, and so forth. But libraries need to do a better job of using these data to help them improve their existing services and communicate value to their stakeholders.

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  • Intelligent Library is one that uses a variety of data to make decisions about collections, services, staffing, and facilitiesIntelligent Library may also be know as one that uses Evidence-based Librarianship
  • An Intelligent Library uses data to inform professional judgment
  • Monitor our progress – in the name of transparency and accountability, we measure our inputs, activities (processes), and outputs of our workInform our strategies – we test our assumptions by tracking our accomplishments using performance measuresContribute to our profession – we share data as well as stories of our successes and failures – sometimes in the literature
  • The purpose of any analysis is not to prove but to improve
  • Library Intelligence = Gates Foundation calls Actionable Measurement
  • Communication with stakeholders can often be planned – monthly, quarterly, annual reports; completion of surveys, etcHowever, we often must respond to request for information
  • Immediate online access to:ACRLMetrics – PLAMetrics - LibPAS -
  • What is the purpose of the analysis, selecting a set of peers, how many, …Institutional peers, library peersCriteria for selection – number of customers, circulation, size of collection, etc. Use data and statistics, plus judgmentCluster analysis - homogeneity within a cluster and heterogeneity between clusters is statistically significantIf all your peers are aspirational, then when you run comparisons you'd always be at the bottom of the list and think that you've got serious performance issues. But if those comparisons are against schools we know are aspirational, then we know why we're performing at that level. So it's good to be able to set targets and goals,Who the university sees as a peer and who potential students (and their parents) see as peers may be different
  • Aspirational University wide include: Boston College, University of Notre Dame, Rice University, Stanford University, and the University of Southern California.
  • A library peer may not be an institutional peer Aspirational Peer Syndrome – might be Aspirational Delusional Syndrome
  • More concerned about trends than data at one point in time
  • Markham PL•Make collections more accessible & increase usage•Improve ROI for collections budgets
  • While circulation has doubled since 2005, Markham is the most efficient library in the Toronto areaInvested in technology to reduce staff handling of materials
  • Steve Potter, MCPL Director and CEO
  • Multnomah County Library, OR
  • Bob Dugan, Univ of West Florida “Talking points” with the Provost for both peers and aspirants
  • Bob Dugan, Univ of West Florida “Talking points” with the Provost
  • Bob Dugan, Univ of West Florida “Talking points” with the Provost
  • Univ of West Florida
  • Bob Dugan Univ of West Florida – Institutional ROI
  • Bob Dugan Univ of West Florida - Student ROI
  • Elizabeth Brown SUNY Binghamton
  • Also used data from SciVal Spotlight, InCites from Thompson, Academic Analytics, OCLC to investigate quality and uniqueness of collections, faculty productivity
  • Virginia commonwealth University Libraries Michael Rawls, Budget & Assessment Director
  • Jimmy Ghaphery Head, Library Information Systems VCU Libraries
  • M MeetA ApproachP ProbeH HearA AssistT Thank
  • Asking for Customer Feedback
  • What measures of library success will resonate in your organizational setting?Be visible with your funding decision makers – build personal connectionsIn your environment, how is value defined, measured & communicated?
  • Alignment Organization’s mission and goalsWhat is a valuable library? One that contributes to reaching the goals and objectives of the organization.What is an Intelligent Library? One that not only collects data but uses it to inform its actions and communicates its value to stakeholders
  • Use charts and graphs rather than showing lots of data (but have the data to back up your charts)
  • Funding for libraries is a reflection of public or campus supportSupport (in the form of your budget) reflects the perceived value of the library to each family, student, faculty member –In short, to your communityHowever, the value is judged in the context of today’s economy and today’s society
  • Tell your story in numbers and stories Your message – “We have contributed towards YOUR goals by ….”Harbor Bridge, Sydney, Australia
  • Use lots of color and excitement to convey both written and spoken stories of the value of the library
  • Library intelligence notes

    1. 1. Library Intelligence: Influencing Your Future with Evidence Joe Matthews June 30, 2013 Sponsored by
    2. 2. What are librarians worried about? • Sustaining Relevance • Balancing print, electronic resources and new services • E-Learning and Distance Education challenges • Justifying growth and projects – Measures not Stats • Understanding mutating usage patterns • Building sustaining community partnerships • Building for the future and not repairing the present • Productivity and shifting staff resources • Budgets and Fundraising
    3. 3. Undoubtedly librarians are great compilers of statistical data, but exhibit poor abilities in its interpretation, manipulation or use. Geoffrey Allen
    4. 4. We (librarians) have far too much experience with and affinity for the safe activity of data gathering, but far too little experience with the risks of using it. Jamene Brooks-Kieffer
    5. 5. Libraries in many cases are collecting data without really having the will, organizational capacity, or interest to interpret and use the data effectively in library planning. Denise Troll Covey
    6. 6. Remember Often, stakeholders prefer simple proof that X is bigger (and therefore better) than Y.
    7. 7. Fundamental Question If data is important enough to gather, why is it not important enough to use?
    8. 8. Data is not a threat to the status quo until it is allowed to inform some action.
    9. 9. Why we use performance measures? Monitor our progress Inform our strategies Contribute to our profession
    10. 10. Purpose of Library Intelligence
    11. 11. Library Intelligence The collection, analysis, and synthesis of data Time devoted to reflection and development of insight Willingness and ability to change
    12. 12. Timeframe
    13. 13. Reasons for Analysis • Budget justification • Benchmarking with peers – How are we doing? – Do we need to reduce costs? • Demonstrating stewardship • Demonstrating value • Advocacy • Understanding our users/non-users • Balancing print, eResources • Productivity of staff • Understanding use of the collections • Understanding use of our services
    14. 14. What is a peer? • Official or Comparison • Aspirational • Make you look ….
    15. 15. Comparison Your Institution Aspirational
    16. 16. Pepperdine University Peers University-Wide University Library Baylor University Calvin College George Washington University Claremont McKenna College Loyola Marymount University Occidental College Santa Clara University Santa Clara University Southern Methodist University Rice University Syracuse University Wake Forest University
    17. 17. Conclusion • Selecting peers is an inexact science • Data measures past performance, not future needs • Peers can be found using different definitions
    18. 18. Trends
    19. 19. Process Improvement
    20. 20. Voice of the Customer
    21. 21. Productivity Improvements
    22. 22. Customer “Quotes” + Data
    23. 23. Use Multiple Data Sets
    24. 24. Benefits of …. Metrics • Immediate access to a breadth of data • Track trends over time • Superior report creation capabilities • Provides support for library funding requests • Flexibility in combining data to meet needs • Eliminate data silos – one interface to learn • Saves staff time and money • Just in time answers to questions
    25. 25. Examples
    26. 26. Support budget preparation by placing the MCPL budget into perspective with comparative data Putting MCPL numbers in context with other libraries helps the community understand what the data means
    27. 27. Justify budget to the City Council. Requesting an increase in the overall budget & materials budget by comparing to benchmarked libraries
    28. 28. Compare MCL to 10 peer libraries 10 libraries from around the nation that are identified as leaders in public library service. We track a wide variety of measures using PLAMetrics
    29. 29. Used comparative data for nearby libraries in order to better understand the demand for services as the library engaged in a renovation project
    30. 30. University of West Florida Annual Comparisons Measure Peer Review Comparison to Avg Services Total circulation/FTE Highest of 8 Above Reference transactions/FTE Highest of 8 Above ILL loaned/FTE 3 of 8 Above ILL borrowed/FTE 5 of 8 Below Ratio of loaned:borrowed 3 of 8 Above Collections Volumes held/FTE Highest of 8 Above Titles held/FTE 2 of 8 Above Journal subscriptions/FTE 5 of 8 Below
    31. 31. Measures Peer Rank Comparison to Avg. Expenditures Total expenditures/FTE Highest of 8 Above Total resource expend/FTE 6 of 8 Below Monograph expenditures/FTE 7 of 8 Below Journal expenditures/FTE 4 of 8 Above Total eResource expend/FTE 5 of 8 Below Other expenditures/FTE Tied for last Below Total staff expenditures/FTE 4 of 8 Below Salaries of prof staff/FTE 6 of 8 Below Annual Comparisons
    32. 32. Measures Peer Group Comparison to Avg Staffing Total staff in FTE 6 of 8 Below Professional staff in FTE 6 of 8 Below Support staff in FTE 2 of 8 Above Student assistants in FTE 5 of 8 Above % prof staff to total staff 8 of 8 Below % support staff to total staff 1 of 8 Above % student assistants to total staff 6 of 8 Below Annual Comparisons
    33. 33. How do eResources impact research productivity? Used ACRLMetrics to prepare a trend report (2005 – 2010) comparing 40 variables for 300 institutions in 2-3 hours
    34. 34. Benefits of LibPAS • Consolidate the number of separate data silos • Improve staff productivity • Reduce operating costs • Fingertip access to meaningful data • Ability to retain library processes • Simplified report preparation –easily change formats and graph displays
    35. 35. Benefits of LibSAT • Provide customers the opportunity to express their satisfaction (or lack thereof) • Quantitative plus qualitative (text in response to open-ended questions) • Direct quotes of customers • Immediate customer feedback allows the library to take corrective action • Compare satisfaction with other libraries • Identify trends • MAPHAT • Set operational priorities – Opportunity Index
    36. 36. • Formulate a question • Find the evidence • Appraise the evidence • Apply the evidence • Evaluate the results The Intelligent Library
    37. 37. The Intelligent Library – Improved support for “Customer” Understanding – Encourages informed, data-driven decisions – Provides data to support the Stories – Closer alignment of library services to the customer – “Board Ready” output for effective presentations (the power of persuasion!) – Finger-tip access to management level data for deep collection use analysis – Supports strategic development of your institution’s mission
    38. 38. Communicating with Stakeholders
    39. 39. Stories + Stats =
    40. 40. We (librarians) have far too much experience with and affinity for the safe activity of data gathering, but far too little experience with the risks of using it. Jamene Brooks-Kieffer
    41. 41. Libraries in many cases are collecting data without really having the will, organizational capacity, or interest to interpret and use the data effectively in library planning. Denise Troll Covey
    42. 42. Discussion