Dr. Lesley S. J. Farmer, professor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), coordinates the Librarianship Program. She earned her MS in library science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received her doctorate in adult education from Temple University. Farmer has worked as a librarian in K-12 school settings, as well as in public, special, and academic libraries. She is incoming chair of the Education Section of the Special Libraries Association, and she is the International Association of School Librarianship's vice president of association relations. Farmer is a Fulbright Scholar and has received the Distinguished Scholarly Activity Award from CSULB, several professional association awards, and national and international grants. Farmer's research interests include information literacy, assessment, collaboration, and educational technology. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, Farmer has published two dozen professional books and more than a hundred professional book chapters and articles.
- Table of Contents
- About the Authors
"Show me your data!"
More than ever, funding agencies are looking for cost effectiveness. Sound data analytics is the foundation for making an evidence-based case for library programs, in addition to guiding myriad organizational decisions, from optimizing operations for efficiency to responding to community needs for customer satisfaction. Designed to be useful for novices as well as those with a background in data, this book introduces the basics of the Six Sigma framework as a model that can be applied to a variety of library settings. Helping readers make sense of data, this guide for system based, data-driven management covers such key topics as
- the basics of statistical concepts;
- recommended data sources for various library functions and processes, and guidance for using census, university, or chamber of commerce data in analysis;
- techniques for cleaning data;
- matching data to appropriate data analysis methods;
- how to make descriptive statistics more powerful by spotlighting relationships;
- 14 case studies which address such areas as digitization, e-book collection development, and reference; and
- staffing, facilities, and instruction.
This book's clear, concise coverage will enable readers of every experience level to gain a better understanding of statistics in order to facilitate library improvement.
List of Tables and Figures
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Planning with Six Sigma
Chapter 3 Defining the Project
Chapter 4 Measure the Current Situation
Chapter 5 Analyze Existing Processes
Chapter 6 Improve or Introduce the Process
Chapter 7 Control the Process
Chapter 8 Cleaning Data
Chapter 9 Getting Started with Statistics
Chapter 10 Matching Data Analytic Methods to Data
Chapter 11 Statistical and Survey Software for Libraries
Chapter 12 Access and Retrieval: Case Study
Chapter 13 Benchmarking Library Standards: Case Study
Chapter 14 Data Sets: Case Study
Chapter 15 Digitization: Case Study
Chapter 16 Ebook Collection Development: Case Study
Chapter 17 Facilities: Case Study
Chapter 18 Information Audit: Case Study
Chapter 19 Instruction: Case Study
Chapter 20 Knowledge Management: Case Study
Chapter 21 Lending Devices: Case Study
Chapter 22 Marketing Virtual Reference Services: Case Study
Chapter 23 Optimizing Online Use: Case Study
Chapter 24 Reference Staffing Patterns: Case Study
Chapter 25 True Costs of Acquisitions: Case Study with Implications for Selection Practice
Other Useful Reading
About the Authors
“Farmer and Safer make the case for deliberate, rigorous use of data to evaluate library programs and procedures … While smaller libraries may not be able to use the Six Sigma Steps and Pearson correlations in their entirety, they can gain useful insight from this book on how to gather, clean, and analyze data in order to improve their processes, services, or facilities.”
“Data-driven decision-making is essential for effective library management in the 21st century. But the tools to develop that analysis are not readily available for library administrators. Library Improvement through Data Analytics is a practical guide with clear and detailed steps for applying Six Sigma, an effective model for targeted library improvement analysis. Applying this technique to library processes and programs can improve performance and productivity, reduce expenses and increase satisfaction of users and staff. The compelling case studies will support library administrators in deploying these important tools to make the case successfully for their libraries.”
—Susan Hildreth, Professor of Practice, UW ISchool
”Ideal for library administrators, assessment librarians, and those who are charged with communicating the library's significance. The short length and accessible language lends itself to readers with busy schedules."
— Library Journal
”Guides the reader through the world of statistics in a library-specific, nonintimidating manner. Staff members at any sized library who wish to see improvement in their processes should consider adding this volume to the collection."