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A “Data Driven” Library

How do the University Libraries make decisions?  Rather than doing what we’ve always done or what we just think is a good idea, we try to base our priorities on good data that indicate a need for the project.  Then we follow up with assessment. 

Some recent examples of how we used data to make decisions or implement programs include:

Marketing to UNCG Staff
A survey of UNCG staff in 2009 indicated that most were not aware of Libraries’ services and resources.  We developed a marketing plan that included developing a brochure just for staff and including the Libraries in New Staff Orientation.  Staff checkouts more than doubled between 2009 and 2013

Journal cancellations
Faced with budget cuts in 2011-12 we conducted a data-intensive analysis of our academic journal publisher packages.  Using these objective data points, we developed a draft list of journal cancellations that was widely shared with faculty for their expert input.  As an end result we identified and canceled the four publisher packages that were yielding the lowest ROI. The net savings exceed $150,000 annually.

Customer Service
A “mystery shopper” assessment of our public services conducted in 2010 was quite positive but indicated that improvement was needed in some areas.  We developed customer workshops in summer 2011 which 85% of staff attended.  Online training for student employees was developed which all public services student employees were required to complete.  The assessment was conducted again in 2012 with significant improvement.

Researcher Space
Use of our Special Collections and University Archives by researchers increased over 200% in recent years.  We conducted a survey of recent researchers that provided evidence for a renovation of the researcher space to provide increased capacity and a comfortable and secure space to use our growing unique materials. 
Exploring the cello music collections  in the new
Special Collections and University Archives
Research Room

All project results along with any presentations or publications are posted on the Libraries’ Assessment LibGuide. 
Posted for Kathy Crowe, Associate Dean of University Libraries