Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Louisiana Library Association Conference 2014 - Day 2

Google Analytics:

The program was presented by Karen Niemla & Cyndy Robertson (UL-Monroe). For some reason, I seem to go to the program presented by Karen at every LLA conference. She often talks about tech stuff that relates to my life.

You need a Google account to start. Either use your own account or make one for library use. Recommended that you create a library account rather than tying to a personal account. You can add other Google accounts so that they can see the data. It will change from time to time, since Google does that.

GA is designed for people who are trying to make money, so there are some things which will not make sense to us. There are even some metrics which have dollars attached to them.

The kind of demonstration of what you actually see is hard to capture for a blog report. The presentation is on the web:

Listening to Your Patrons

Samantha Becker is at the UWashington Information School. The Impact Survey is a tool to help libraries survey their patrons especially about technology. She will also talk about the EDGE Initiative, a library benchmarking tool, which allows libraries to look at how it provides services.

What do you need to know?
Need to align library resources and services to community needs. About 70% of those who use library technology have access somewhere else. One reason is that home internet connection is not good, so the library connection is so much better. Also "household competition for access" which means that there are multiple users competing for the one device.
People are going to library to do their jobs. May be normally working from home, but need personal contact in order to feel productive. "The library is a productive space." Is there anywhere else in the community where a person can go to use technology without being expected to buy something.
Need to show that responding to community needs, and figure out the areas for improvement.
Used a case study -- Altamont -- a fictional community with a number of challenges and based on a number of real communities across the country.

 Gathering Data
  1.  Assemble a working team
    1. Library managers
    2.  Board/Friends representatives
    3.  Local government
    4.  Peer agency staff
    5.  Members of the public/library users
  2. What do you need to know?
    1. What are the most important issues facing your community?
    2. What do your community members need to have, know, or do to be successful?
    3. What kind of community do you aspire to be?
    4. What kinds of programs can meet community needs?
    5. How well do our programs meet community needs?
    6. Who aren't we serving as well as we could?
    7. What's going on in your community?
    8. What are your community goals?
    9. What information would help you make decisions about programs to support those goals?
  3. Existing Data
    1. What existing data can tell you:
      1. Who lives in your service area
      2. What kind of lives they lead
      3. What they might need
      4. How patrons are using the library
    2. Data Sources
      1. Census/ACS
      2. Broadband USA
      3. Community indicators
      4. City/County Surveys
      5. Education agency
      6. Employment agency
      7. Library records
      8. Other research
    3. Compile into a community survey
    4. Compare to other research/surveys
    5. Needing, doing, being
      Theory of change says that you have an unmet need, the library provides services, which leads to people being able to do something that they could not do before.
    6. Data collection methods
      1. Community fora
      2. Focus groups
      3. Interviews
      4. Surveys
She presented a great deal of detail on how to actually do focus groups, community meetings, and interviews, along with the pro/cons and specific kinds of information from each type of data collection.

Data collected from focus groups and interviews is qualitative data.

Analysis and Reflection
  1.  Write up impressions of results from fora, focus groups, etc.
  2. Approach systematically
    1. write up brief summaries
    2. categorize
    3. look for themes
    4. look for alternates and exceptions
  3. Validate findings with other methods
Surveys aren't just for satisfaction. Libraries are victims of social desirability bias. Use surveys to validate findings from other methods. Use to understand the extent of the phenomena. Can learn about outcomes (how many experience a specific outcome, like "did you get your GED"?). Phone surveys are expensive, and may not be reliable. Areas with high cell phone use will result in results that are not accurate.

Library patrons are unusually willing to participate in surveys and to answer questions. Try combination of web and paper survey. If you mail, be sure to include a return envelope. Use PR to make folks aware of your survey.

Want to focus on factual information. But be careful how the question is worded. Limit number of open-ended questions. Avoid compound questions. Always pre-test your questions. Watch how much you ask. About 10 - 12 questions is ideal. You have to balance between limited number of questions, and analyzing the data. Ask multi-check questions (e.g., top three priorities). Use questions from other surveys.

What is the Impact Survey?

This is a survey tool to help libraries survey their users about how they use technology. Very simple to use list of questions, includes information on activities in core outcome areas. Includes tools to do analysis and professional-looking results. []

What is EDGE for Libraries?

Edge is a way to look at your library. Includes benchmarks and indicators. Has tools to analyze what your library is doing and how to do better. It has a toolkit. There is synchronous web-based training. There are many kinds of training available as part of it.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Elizabeth Elmwood, now Meta-Data librarian, formerly Government Documents Librarian. In June 2013, Xavier University (New Orleans) left the Federal Depository Library System (FDLS). Reasons: limited resources and a duplication of effort.

Her full presentation is here. She looked for published accounts describing the process, and found little. 15 academic libraries left in 1998-2001. Most were smaller academic libraries located near larger libraries.

Reasons for discontinuation:
  • Tangible item use was low
    • fewer than 1 item per month re-shelved
    • technology requirements barely met
  • Limited staffing
    • 1 librarian with other duties
    • No support staff, spotty student worker coverage
  • Use of space
    • Library reconfiguration in process
    • Extensive print weeding of entire collection
  • Cost of ownership versus use of collection
Reasons to keep:
  • Intrinsic value of an informed citizenry
  • Enhances library prestige, and is unique to libraries
  • Your documents collection may have its own specialties
  • Your collection supports a department, major, or program of instruction
  • Leaving FDLP does not yield instant savings in space labor or money
Process (mechanics)
  • Consult with regional coordinator, then write a letter (library director/agency head) to the Superintendent of Documents
    • Physical mail is irradiated
    • May need to scan and send
  • Expect to list everything (!) as usual for documents disposition
  • Consider the regional depository library's workload when submitting items
  • Pulling data from ILS into an editable file to upload into the disposal database
  • (PPT has a crosswalk from MARC to ASERL DDD fields) / Note 074 is the shipping list number, can be a good field to look at
Xavier Library after withdrawal
  • Collection remains on the shelves during disposal
  • Librarian became Meta-data Librarian
  • Unclaimed items offered
  • Student workers did the grunt work
  • Government information accessible via LibGuide
  • Did some uncommon listings (e.g., Foreign Relations of the US from 1915 +  offered on Craigslist)
Recommended reading list (from PPT)

If were to do it again, would double check list from ILS against shelf for actual format. Once offered and not claimed the library can keep the material, and it becomes a regular part of the collection and does not have to be offered again through the disposition process.

Celebrate the Freedom to Read @ your library

Attendees were welcomed as "Intellectual Freedom Fighters." Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read, rather than celebrating the banning of books.

Judy Krug Grant: there are 5 - 8 grants awarded each year, since  2010, and last year, for the first time ever, two libraries in the same state won the grant: LaFourche and Livingston Parish Libraries.

LaFourche Parish Library received  $1,000 plus ALA Graphics supplies. The funding was used for programs. The LaFourche program was aimed at teens. Livingston's program was aimed at adults. The Livingston program focused on Southern literature.

Next round of grants is open until April 30, and is not overly difficult to apply for.