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How libraries can use data to drive decisions and services

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Facet Publishing has released Library Analytics and Metrics: Using Data to Drive Decisions and Services.

With the wealth of data available to library and information services, analytics are the key to understanding users and improving the systems and services offered.

The book, edited by Ben Showers, sets out the opportunities that analytics present to libraries, and provides inspiration for how they can use the data within their systems to help inform decisions and improve services. Using case studies to provide real-life examples of current developments and services, and full of advice and guidance for libraries looking to realise the value of their data, the publisher says this will be an essential guide for librarians and information professionals.

It brings together a group of internationally recognised experts to explore some of the key issues in the exploitation of data analytics and metrics in the library and cultural heritage sectors, including:

  • The role of data in helping inform collections management and strategy,
  • Approaches to collecting, analysing and utilising data,
  • Using analytics to develop new services and improve the user experience,
  • The opportunities of library data as ‘big data’,
  • The role of ‘small data’ in delivering meaningful interventions for users,
  • Practical advice on managing the risks and ethics of data analytics, and
  • How analytics can help uncover new types of impact and value for institutions and organisations.  

Showers said: 'This is an incredibly exciting time for libraries, museums and the cultural heritage sector in general. There is some really innovative work being done by librarians, curators, archivists and technologists to realise the potential of the data that is flowing through their systems and services; capturing and analysing data so they can improve services and meet user needs. This book is about these marvellous exemplars.

'It gathers together examples of cutting-edge work, from examples of how ethnographic methods are being used to better understand user behaviours so that physical study and learning spaces can be improved, through to how analytics are being used by librarians to demonstrate the impact of the library on student success and how cultural institutions are taking advantage of the web and the data it generates to help transform their services in a digital world.

'But, most importantly, these case studies and examples provide practitioners from across the cultural heritage sector with the tools, ideas and inspiration to begin exploring how analytics can begin to transform their services and systems back at their own institution.'