Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Library Cube

Discovering the Impact of Library Use and Student Performance

Brian Cox is Manager Quality and Marketing, and Margie Jantti is University Librarian at the University of Wollongong Library.

Key Takeaways

  • Without a valid, reliable way to collect data from various library and enterprise systems, it's difficult to quantitatively assert how a library adds value.
  • The University of Wollongong Library developed the Library Cube, a tailored database and reporting function that joins library usage data with student data, including demographic and academic performance information.
  • Analysis of the resulting data reveals a strong correlation between students' grades and use of information resources the library provides.
By providing access to information resources, academic libraries play a significant role in the student experience. To date, efforts to assess the impact of accessing library-owned or subscribed content have largely focused on satisfaction surveys, feedback, and "return on investment" projects such as contingent valuation. Although surveys and feedback systems provide data and information on a range of service elements, they are limited in their capacity to provide information and insight into the perceived value gained by engaging with the library — that is, on a client's return on effort for using library services and resources. They are also unable to identify non-users effectively. Faculty awareness and knowledge of student use of library information resources is equally limited. Read more...

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