“Census data is the mother of all open data sets,” says Jeffrey Lambert, assistant director of digital inclusion and workforce readiness at Queens (N.Y.) Public Library (QPL). “It’s a huge resource about people who live in the United States, and it’s accessible to anyone.” Libraries have an important part to play in accessing that data, … Continue reading After the Census
The idea that the library data we all collect and share could be used against us is troubling, and it has left me thinking about how important it is that library workers find ways to control the narrative about our own value. In an era of shrinking budgets, libraries must find ways to tell our … Continue reading Your Library’s Story
It’s an example of learning analytics, the use of data to understand and optimize learning and learning environments. The general concept isn’t new—the university’s announcement noted that student retention has been studied for more than 30 years—but the amount of data that is easy to generate with card swipes has exploded in recent years. And … Continue reading Data Collection and Privacy
Failure analysis can be applied to librarianship as well. Several brave librarians shared their failures—and the lessons they learned from them—during “Visibility and Engagement: Design, Develop, or Refresh your Online Instruction.” Kelly Diamond, head of the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Support at West Virginia University’s Evansdale Library, told of being hired in an online … Continue reading Failure Analysis: Online Instruction
The term “quantitative analysis” can seem daunting. But like many other professionals, I developed research skills on the job and jumped at any opportunity to learn about quantitative methods. One of the challenges I faced was how to make sense of data sources and use them in ways that support effective decision making. Over a … Continue reading From Theory to Practice
When you hear the phrase “readers’ advisory,” do you think of the single librarian recommending books to the individual user in the library? The three presenters at “Harnessing Research and Data to Advance Readers’ Advisory Services,” a program sponsored by the Reference and User Services Association at the American Library Association’s 2016 Annual Conference and Exhibition, challenged attendees to start thinking about readers’ advisory in a more holistic, aggregate, and data-informed way so that they could better serve their communities.
Char Booth’s 2009 report, Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University, cautions against experimenting with too many programs at once. She argues that decisions should be grounded in insight into local library, information, and technology cultures—a policy that we call “intentional integration.” A 2014 Pew Research survey indicates that 64% … Continue reading Embracing the Future