No matter the size of the library or the population it serves, all public libraries are working toward a common goal—providing relevant and impactful services in areas most important to patrons. As we strive to be a data-driven organization at Sno-Isle Libraries in Snohomish and Island Counties, WA, it is our job to make sure our programs are allocating the right amount of resources to our highest priority services and addressing the needs and interests of our communities. And we need the data to show it.
Posts Tagged ‘data-driven decision’
I wrote a few months ago about the data skills that future academic librarians can develop—but what would a data librarian look like in a public library? In this post, I’d like to review a few data concepts, outline potential differences between academic and public librarians, and suggest ways that public librarians could bring data to their patrons.
Big data is everywhere and patrons are increasingly turning to libraries to learn not only what it is, but how it can help their businesses. And just as businesses use big data to target their customers and generate more sales, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) saw an opportunity to better determine how to best deliver relevant content to its users by implementing big data. Their experience is one that could well help other public libraries leverage all their data to best serve patron needs.
The Digital Inclusion Survey, which collected information from September to November 2013 about public libraries, is a significant way to see how libraries are excelling and where they are falling short in digital literacy, programming, and technology training.
At a recent user’s group conference, there was a dominant theme: the importance of querying and retrieving data. As we know, library-as-place is important. Library-as-place-with-only-books is becoming less important and is an outdated model. This is not a new concept, but it was obvious, at least at this convention center, that library staff are interested in more than books. Several conference sessions were not talking about how to best display or circulate books, but rather about libraries actively removing collections to make space for people to do things. Their materials are still available and findable in the ILS, and the patron will get what they request. But it’s not important where that material is housed (online or in a storage facility).