Goal and Plan Goal:Convince you to record details of all your reference transactions Plan:1. Show you how easy it is to do this 2. Describe benefits * For instruction * For training and evaluation * For management decisions 3. Answer your questions 4. Closing remarks
Our Story July 2006: Hired 4 new reference staff. Aug. 2006: Begin an assault on paper. Sept. 2006: Explore options for recording stats on computer. Oct. 2006: Discover LibStats, install it, begin testing. Jan. 2007: Begin recording all Hale Library Help Desk and Ask A Librarian transactions in LibStats.
LibStats 101 • Open Source from University of Wisconsinhttp://code.google.com/p/libstats/ • Requires PHP enabled server • Web-based database • Multiple people can use it simultaneously • Requires username and password to use • Extremely easy to use!
How we use LibStats • Login from both staff computers each morning and leave it open until closing time. • Record every question we receive • In person at the Hale Library Help Desk. • Through our Ask A Librarian phone, e-mail, and IM service.
A Closer Look at LibStats Select an entry from each box, and type your initials.
A Closer Look at LibStats Then record information about the question and the answer.
A Closer Look at LibStats The transaction will then appear in the list below the entry form. The date and time are added automatically.
A Closer Look at LibStats You can edit or delete a transaction by clicking it’s number.
Benefits of Recording So Much Data • It’s fun to read (honest!) • It’s educational • It helps improve services
Spark • Conversation between a programmer, the instruction coordinator, and an instruction resident • Occurred when looking at digital projects regarding Instruction as a whole
Idea Questions in Libstats hold valuable information that can help guide instruction efforts.
Data and Coding • January 3, 2007 through May 3, 2007 • 1,000 entries examined to create topic codes • 4,674 questions coded, blank entries not included
Data and Coding • Measure of user awareness • Determine level of specificity • A priori scheme better suited for future analysis
Example Codes Known item request 5 Topic research 11 Item not on shelf 28
Results – Grouped Codes “Not Representative” includes entries that do not represent K-State users such as questions from vendors.
Challenges • Referrals are not adequately captured in this analysis. Exporting problems with hard returns. • 689 empty entries • 150 entries were too vague to classify • Example: find book • Not true needs—only those that asked questions
Staff Training and Evaluation • Are other libraries using a web-based tracking system for reference staff training? • Survey comments from Hale Library Help Desk staff • Staff Training • Reference Reflection & Assessment
Are other libraries using this type of tool for staff training? Barton, E, & Burns, A. (2006).“Ref Logs Now” Library Journal, 131 (16), 28-30 . • “I know this question came up last semester, but I can’t remember the best sources to use” Smith, M. (2006). “A Tool for All Places: a Web-Based Reference Statistics System” Reference Services Review, 34 (2), 298-315.
What are other librarians saying? http://pegasuslibrarian.blogspot.com/2006/10/making-reference-desk-statistics-fun.html
What do you like about Libstats? Search to find answers to frequently asked questions • I like that Libstats is keyword searchable and you can look up your own initials to see all the transactions you’ve entered. I like that there is a record of the actual transaction, and you can learn from what other people have done.
Training Staff to use Libstats“It's easy to use” Staff Survey Response • Recording Reference Transactions guide was created and posted to General Reference wiki • Updates added continually • Training sessions held on case by case basis for new staff along with yearly refresher sessions for returning Help Desk staff
Staff Training “I think it’s (Libstats) useful to know what has been going on, especially if there are ongoing or similar questions. Also, it’s a learning tool because sometimes people give different answers than I would.”Staff Survey Response
Training Perspectives on Libstats • Determine training needs and strengths of reference staff • Learn how to handle certain types of questions • See how others answer similar questions • Form of staff communication • Use for reference evaluation • Allows collaborative learning
Answer Certain Types of Questions • Scavenger hunts • Class assignments • Known Problems/Issues
Scavenger Hunts Q: Where can I find the volume and issue numbers for Jan.-March 1983 issues of Time? Is the microfilm collection stored in alphabetical or call number order? How can I find out the major headline on the New York times for December 8, 1941? • A: v. 121, no. 1 thru v. 121, no. 13/call number order/Microforms (3rd Floor, Hale) *Note: this is a Speech "scavenger hunt" assignment we also got thru IM last week.
Class Assignments“Use in case of recurring class project questions” Libstats Survey Response • Q: Marketing class assignment MKTG 542 - looking for industry info using list of sources from instructor • A: student was looking for U.S. Market Trends and Forecasts - it is in Stacks due to old age. We looked at the Marketing & Int'l Business subject guide page. Used Business and Company Resource Center, Industry: Child Care - had some more recent info that looked helpful. She also used ABI/Inform for articles.