June Dispatches by Frank Donnelly

Crunching the Numbers

June 1, 2022

Total population counts for the states and the nation were released in March 2021 and launched the apportionment process to redistribute seats in Congress. Public redistricting files followed, released in August 2021. This dataset consists of six tables that include population by race, ethnicity, age above 18, group quarters (the population living in college dorms, … Continue reading Crunching the Numbers

Gale Digital Scholar Lab allows users to do text analysis without writing code.

Digging Deeper

May 2, 2022

Gale Digital  Scholar Lab User: Hillary Richardson, coordinator of undergraduate research and information literacy at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus What is Gale Digital Scholar Lab? It’s a way for us to engage with some of Gale’s digital primary collections through text analysis tools. How do you use Gale Digital Scholar Lab? I teach … Continue reading Digging Deeper

Gale Engage provides dashboard visualizations of library data.

Target Acquired

May 3, 2021

Gale Engage User: Riti Grover, director at Farmington (Mich.) Community Library What is Gale Engage? Gale Engage is a marketing and analysis tool designed to optimize the library’s effectiveness through data analysis and dashboard visualizations that enable library staff to best focus their efforts within the community. How do you use it? We use Gale … Continue reading Target Acquired

Illustration: Kristen Solecki

After the Census

March 2, 2020

“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

In Practice, by Meredith Farkas

Your Library’s Story

January 2, 2020

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

Data Collection and Privacy

September 4, 2018

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

Panelists (from left) Susan Wengler, Claudia McGiveny, Kristen Woodward (online programs and instructional design coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries), Kelly Diamond, and Moderator Molly Mansfield (online learning and instruction librarian, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois)

Failure Analysis: Online Instruction

June 24, 2017

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

Dispatches, by Melissa Goertzen

From Theory to Practice

June 1, 2017

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

"Harnessing Research and Data to Advance Readers' Advisory Services" panel

Improving Readers’ Advisory with Data and Research

June 25, 2016

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.

Rebecca K. Miller, Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Carolyn Meier

Embracing the Future

October 30, 2015

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