Libraries increasingly need to make strong cases for--and smart allocations of--their resources. Library leaders need to know what to do more of and what to stop doing. Understanding how people find, use, and value digital resources is one of the most difficult areas to evaluate. Google analytics and other webstats packages only provide one narrow and limited view of use; and value can only really be understood with a broader range of qualitative and quantitative data. This session will provide three case studies of assessment and evaluation programs in libraries--one past, one current, and one future. The cases use three different modes of data gathering and analysis and show the power of understanding user needs and how well your organization is meeting them. The first case illustrates how a special collections digitization project at Harvard maximized its use and impact. The second case discusses how a very large, disaggregated library system can plan for future improvements in resource discovery. And the third case looks to the future with a project to provide aggregated access to data that will facilitate data-driven decision making by library leaders.
Megan and I have a long history of working in designing and implementing assessment programs in libraries and it forms a core part of the user-centric approach of A21. We are really pleased to be able to have this opportunity to speak about our work. Please do come find us or if you would like to schedule a meeting in advance, do get in touch.