Apr 2015 | 224pp
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This book will inform and inspire librarians, archivists, curators and technologists to make better use of data to help inform decision-making, the development of new services and the improvement of the user experience.
With the wealth of data available to library and cultural heritage institutions, analytics are the key to understanding their users and improving the systems and services they offer. Using case studies to provide real-life examples of current developments and services, and packed full of practical advice and guidance for libraries looking to realize the value of their data, this will be an essential guide for librarians and information professionals.
Library Analytics and Metrics brings together a group of internationally recognized experts to explore some of the key issues in the exploitation of data analytics and metrics in the library and cultural heritage sectors, including:
Readership: This book will be an invaluable resource for librarians and library directors interested in developing a data-driven approach to their service provision and decision making; students on library and information science courses; and managers and practitioners in other cultural heritage sectors such as museums, archives and galleries.
"I would heartily recommend the book to all professional librarians, but also to educators, as it provides good examples not only of data usage, but also of critical thinking."
- Information Research
"In this collection of theory and best practices, Showers gathers international experts on library analytics and metrics to inform information professionals of the myriad ways in which data can drive good decision making and enhance services. Each chapter provides an overview of some of the main themes surrounding analytics and the development of metrics such as big (and small) data, collection management, social media metrics, and demonstrating library impact and value. At the core of each section are real-life examples of data-driven decisions based on current library scenarios. This approach sets the text apart from other publications on the subject, and readers will be aided by the practical advice. VERDICT Relevant to library directors and administrators of cultural heritage institutions looking to create a data-driven approach to decision making and the development of services. A valuable resource for anyone who serves as a liason to faculty and students along with those who manage library systems and services."
- Library Journal
"...a great, varied and in-depth look at the current usage of analytics and metrics in the library sector and there are some valuable case studies captured that will hopefully help inform those undertaking their own data-driven projects or facing pressure to provide impact or usage evidence to their organisations."
– MmIT Journal
"...In addition to Showers' brief yet thorough introduction to the topic and his concise chapter summaries, a strength of this book is the methodologies and lessons the reader learns from the case studies."
- Library & Information Science Research
1. Library data: big and small
This chapter explores the definitions of these increasingly popular terms and provides a clear understanding of the differences between them and of the kinds of opportunities that they present to libraries and cultural heritage institutions. While big data captures much of the headlines, it is of little use if we can’t get the ‘small data’ of our systems and services up to scratch.
2. Data-driven collections management
This chapter delves into some of the developments currently taking place in the library sector to exploit the potential of analytics so as to help drive informed decisions about the purchase of materials, usage and collections management and opportunities to extend the impact of the library into new
3. Using data to demonstrate library impact and value
Analytics are increasingly being used to uncover new insights and demonstrate new types of value and impact for libraries and their institutions. This chapter explores some of the current opportunities that institutions are exploiting through the use of analytics, and the innovative services and tools they are developing.
4. Going beyond the numbers: using qualitative research to transform the library user’s experience
While much of the buzz around data and analytics is inevitably about the quantitative ‘big data’, the role of qualitative data in informing decisions is critical. This chapter explores the many ways in which institutions and researchers are capturing this kind of data and the kinds of insights it is providing.
5. Web and social media metrics for the cultural heritage sector
This chapter explores the potential of web analytics for cultural heritage institutions. The increasingly social nature of the web, and in particular the sharing and discovery of content and resources, makes this is a critical area for any cultural institution to understand.
6. Understanding and managing the risks of analytics
This chapter explores the legal and ethical risks of analytics and provides best practice and practical examples for how they can be met and managed.
7. Conclusion: towards a data-driven future?
A peek into the future: given the current work and developments that are taking place within cultural heritage institutions and organizations, how might such developments change the cultural landscape over the next five to ten years? What might a data-driven future look like?