Dive Into Data

CLICK HERE to view break-out session PDFs!

Assessment, impact, evaluation, measures, metrics….

These are quickly becoming the new watchwords in the library world:  measuring impact, defining outcomes, calculating ROI, assessing learning, increasing student retention--the list goes on.  Librarians of all kinds have been increasingly called upon to wrestle with these practices and to develop skills in these new areas.  Whether your responsibilities find you teaching & helping patrons, designing programs, or making resource allocations, chances are you will be asked to participate in one or more assessment processes. And, for almost all of us these topics fall squarely into the “they didn’t teach me this in library school” column!

Plan to join us for OHIONET’s next day-long, multi-type conference, “Dive into Data: Gather, Analyze, Communicate”, which is set to take place on Friday, July 17, 2015 at the Holiday Inn Worthington.  We’ll be de-mystifying the basics of assessment, discussing why these skills are so critical, and talking about tactics you can take back to your home institutions to help develop a culture of assessment.





Keynote Speaker--Beverly Cain, State Librarian of Ohio

"Using Data to Win Friends and Influence People"

How can you persuade others that your cause deserves their support? Whatever role you play in in your library, it is likely that at some point, you will need to influence key stakeholders to support an idea, project, or request. You may need to ask the library director to add a staff position to your department; the Friends of the Library to provide funding to support a program; the library board to increase the hours of operation at a branch library; voters to support a tax levy; or you may need to influence legislators or decision makers to provide or increase funding for the library. Credibility, logic, and connection are vital for building and sustaining support for your cause and good data is essential to achieving all three. Using data to provide a snapshot of your department, library, or community can help you clearly communicate a credible need and demonstrate how your proposal will logically help address that need.  Reliable numbers, combined with a compelling narrative that connects with your stakeholders, will help you win friends and influence people to help you achieve your goal.



Wrap-Up Speakers--Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz and Laura Ponikvar

"Let’s Talk About Data Beyond Input/Output"

Does the conversation about data start and end within the walls of your library? What comes after the gathering, analysis, and communication to stakeholders? Rethinking data in the context of your community can spark a transformation of the library and what it means to be more fully engaged. Framing the conversation is the first step you can take to move your conversation about data out into your community where you can start building new relationships.  Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz and Laura Ponikvar will share creative strategies for using data-gathering practices to increase engagement with the communities we serve.

Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz,

Cleveland Public Library

Laura Ponikvar,

Cleveland Institute of Art




Looking for the information on the Keynote and Wrap-Up speaker?  CLICK HERE.


Confirmed Speakers & Session Descriptions   CLICK HERE for the day's schedule

Presenter Topic Area Title Description
Cathy Bartel & Marilyn Zelinski (Toledo & Lucas County Public Library) Analyzing Data Stop Treading Water: Using Data to Drive Collection Maintenance Using data analysis procedures to evaluate various aspects of collection development including budget allocation plus selection and distribution of materials in a floating collection. Also using data to maintain and right-size collections via redistribution and de-selection as well as analyzing material formats for the current library user.
Michelle Blank (Defiance College) Communicating about Data Planning the "Ask": Effective Strategies to Use the Story the Data Tells to Shape Your Message With a curricular overhaul on the horizon and the advent of an expanded role for the library, the Pilgrim Library at Defiance College set off on a trek to measure the impact of one aspect of our nascent information literacy program. As this idea was developing, an opportunity arose to be a part of the ACRL's Assessment in Action (AiA) program. This partnership proved invaluable at all stages of the project.  As a whole, the project has been successful; the process was educational, the data interesting, and the collaboration advantageous. However, the AiA team helped us realize that analyzed data is not the culmination of the project but merely tools to use in the most important step, planning the "Ask". This is the action step in which we effectively craft and leverage the story told through the data.

In this session we will discuss that very issue. Participants will be introduced to some core principles for creating buy-in based on ideas presented in "Diffusions of Innovations" by Everett Rogers. Through the workshop portion of the session, participants will begin to formulate their "Ask" and will leave with an "Ask" format that can be utilized in their individual contexts.

Michelle Blank & Alex Hauser (Defiance College) Analyzing Data I've a Feeling We're Not in High School Anymore: Information Literacy as a Bridge for Transitioning First-Year Students In August of 2014 Defiance College launched a new CORE curriculum, giving the library opportunity to re-design and implement a more robust Information Literacy program. In CORE115, Foundations of Academic Inquiry, library staff team taught alongside instructors in a collaborative effort to instill first-year students with the research skills necessary to facilitate their academic achievement and a successful future as life-long learners.
Each section of the course included five embedded library sessions covering the physical space of the library, evaluating sources, using library tools, using internet tools, and citation. A pre- and post-tests were utilized as one quantitative assessment tool while student mid-term portfolios and final posters were evaluated with a normed rubric to further explore students' application of the concepts being covered in the library sessions.
The five embedded course sessions were carefully designed, student output assessed, and data analyzed. The results are encouraging, though much more still needs to be done in this area. This program will share that journey, including study design, outcome construction. This research was undertaken as a part of the ACRL's Assessment in Action (AiA) program.
Colleen Boff & Vera Lux (Bowling Green State University) Gathering Data Why Users Come to the Library: A Case Study at a Mid-Sized State Institution Researchers have employed various methods to study the use of the library’s physical space in order to better understand the ways in which it is used. However, while much research has been done on the use of the various spaces within the library, an observational study of the initial destination of library visitors has not been done, nor has a survey seeking to find the primary purpose for the visit itself. The presenters will share the process and results of a research project examining the initial destination and primary purpose for the visit of patrons in a mid-sized state university library. We’ll explore the alignment between initial destination and primary purpose, core services versus service point locations, and the impact of external services in the library. We will also discuss the qualitative research design and the multiple research methods we employed to answer our research questions.
Erica Clay (INFOhio) Analyzing Data Finding and Sharing the Treasure You Discover in a Data Deep Dive When you dive deep into your pool of data, are you resurfacing with treasure or do you feel lost at sea? Do you know how to convert your pieces of data into a story your stakeholders want or need to hear? Join INFOhio Integration Librarian, Erica Clay, and learn how INFOhio gathers statewide use data, determines which data is a treasure for which audience, makes decisions based on the data gathered, and interprets the data to tell the INFOhio story.
Connie Huber (Southern State Community College) Gathering Data Measuring a Gallon with a Yardstick? The Gold Standard for evaluating a program involves composing the evaluation tool as the program is developed. Retrofitting evaluation questions to collect the desired data can be tricky and often yield subpar answers and may present more questions than answers.  Many researchers lack a well-defined objective or desired outcome of the program, leading to data collection challenges. This can be compared to attempting to arrive at a specific destination without an address or landmark. The researcher may arrive in the general area, and miss the exact destination.
Kirstin Krumsee (State Library of Ohio) Communicating about Data Knowing Where to Draw the Line: Tools and Strategies for Visualizing Data Data visualization can be an effective way to share complex information in a simple, easy-to-understand format. But how do you choose the right means to share your data? In this session we’ll explore best practices for data visualization as well as numerous tools and techniques for compellingly presenting data to your staff, your patrons and your board.
Debra Logan (Mt. Gilead Schools), Jessica Klinker (South-Western City Schools) & Jamie Riley (Dublin City Schools) Analyzing Data Assessment Ready: Collaboration to Impact Student Achievement Join three Ohio school librarians who collaborate with their classroom teachers to help their students achieve. School librarians are licensed teachers so assessment of student learning is always at the forefront of what we do.  During this session, each school librarian will share their collaborative lesson(s), discuss the kind of student data each collects and how each evaluates the data to ensure learning has occurred.
Kevin Messner, Thomas Tully & Stephen Cox (Miami University) Analyzing Data If You Build It, Will They Come? (And Can You Prove It?) In an environment of limited resources it is critical to objectively assess what works, what doesn’t, and allocate resources appropriately.  Since opening a new library facility in 2011, we have attempted to identify patron needs regarding this new physical space through analysis of their usage of the facility.  We conduct a regular systematic census of facility usage in order to assess our space -- what room layouts, furnishings, and computer configurations are most successful, and what goes unused.  The census has revealed informative trends in the areas of the facility that are most heavily used, and when heaviest use occurs.  Additionally, the layout of our space enabled us to conduct several discrete natural experiments.  One study compared relative use rates of different furniture types, while another compared use of study rooms on a reservation schedule, vs similar rooms available first-come-first-served.  Our findings have informed subsequent furniture acquisitions, room policies, and facility hours.  Our most recent round of data collection reflects these changes and will inform further, qualitative investigation of user perspectives on specific library spaces.  Our methodology and the feasibility of space use studies will be discussed, and a web-based application for data collection, analysis, and graphical presentation of space use information being developed in-house will be demonstrated.
Sarah Murphy (The Ohio State University) Communicating about Data Anchors Aweigh: Sailing Ahead with Tableau to Support a Visual Library Organization A visual library organization routinely gathers, assembles, and asks questions of data to inform decision-making and identify evolving trends. Tableau – a powerful data visualization and rapid analytics software tool – provides a flexible platform for these efforts. This session will demonstrate how The Ohio State University Libraries assessment program currently uses Tableau to support evidence-based decision making. Various dashboards showcasing library data collected from reference, special collections, interlibrary loan, library programming, and other library services will be shared to illustrate that the average librarian does not need advanced statistics or computer programming expertise to garner insights from library data.  Tableau’s data visualization tools offer libraries the opportunity to better understand how their communities use library resources and services, and the ability to communicate the story of their contributions to the communities they serve.
Sharon Purtee & Edith Starbuck (University of Cincinnati) Analyzing Data Too Many Serials and not Enough Money – So What Else is New? Since 2010, serials collection development at the University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Library has been done by a committee comprised of three librarians, an informationist, and the Director. We have transformed the collection from solidly print to almost completely electronic over the five years since the committee was formed. Early each spring we begin with the same tasks – review the existing list of titles, check usage, ask the faculty for new titles, and find titles to cut. Five years ago, it was easy; cut print, switch to electronic and be done with it. It’s become more difficult each passing year.  Over that time, we have successfully reduced spending, shifted the scope in some areas (totally removed some subject areas and added others), and responded to the requests of faculty and students.  Our reliance on traditional and alternative metrics during the process of the review cycle has grown as well.  We now have cumulative data that informs decision-making and conversations with faculty when they question the cancellation of a subscription. An added benefit has been our ability to produce evidence for medical faculty members which has increased our profile – hey, librarians can do research!
Rachel Rubin (Bexley Public Library) Gathering Data Step Away from the Survey:  Methods for Gathering Feedback and When to Use Them Want feedback from your stakeholders? We often turn to surveys as a catch-all for collecting information, but a survey may not be the best way to get what you need. In this session, learn about a few different methods of data collection, how to determine which one might be the best fit, and tips for successfully using them in your library.
Mandy Shannon, Sue Polanka & Bette Sydelko (Wright State University) Gathering Data Driving the BUS: Building use study and space assessment at Wright State University Libraries In response to the library’s strategic plan, the Wright State University Dunbar Library is in the midst of a long-term, multi-modal building use study. In the spring of 2015, the library’s assessment team used a combination of an open-source tablet-based software program, photographs, questionnaires, and preference-based voting to capture information about physical space use, building user perceptions, and user needs.
In the second phase of this building use study, librarians are working in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Research to develop two needs-assessment surveys based on the responses in the first phase. One survey will be distributed to students; the other will focus on faculty.
In this session, librarians will discuss why they chose to use multiple methods to collect data, their experiences with the project, and future plans for analyzing the data and implementing changes based on the results.
Carol Singer (Bowling Green State University) Analyzing Data Using Student Reflection to Assess Library Instruction In two successive years, students in a senior-level Dietetics research methods class were asked to write a one page reaction paper after participating in a library instruction session. The students reflected on what they had learned during the session, which sources and skills covered during the session were most and least useful, and what changes they would recommend to improve the instruction session.  This presentation will discuss what advice was provided by the students and how their recommendations were used to revise both the content of the session and the teaching methods used. In the succeeding year, students taking this course were again asked to write reaction papers after participating in the revised instruction session. While the students appreciated the changes that were the outcome of the previous year’s reaction papers, they also made suggestions for further improvements. The recommendations from the second year were used to further refine the instruction session given to students in this course during the third year. This exercise resulted not only in changes to instruction for this course, but also changes to instruction for other classes.
Yin Zhang, Kay Downey, Tom Klingler (Kent State University) & Cristobal Urbano (Universitat de Barcelona) Analyzing Data Data-Driven Assessment and Decision-Making for E-book Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA), also known as Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA), is a new model for e-book acquisitions that is widely used by academic libraries. Given that DDA is still relatively new, libraries have adopted it without an established guideline for best practices. At the same time, while libraries are collecting large amounts of data associated with DDA, such data have not been well explored for assessing the model and making decisions for DDA implementations.