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