ST 13/10: Pilot test in Crete


Yesterday Colleen Cook and I (Tord Hoivik) did the first practical test of the new statistics course.

We had a dozen people from a wide range of countries: Australia, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Uganda and the United States. All of them were participating in the 2nd QQML 2010 international conference in the lovely city of Chania, in Crete.

We are very grateful to the organizers of the conference for hosting the pilot – and especially to main coordinator, Dr. Anthi Katsirikou from the University of Piraeus Library, who  also found time to attend the course in the middle of her busy schedule.


We got lots of good feedback from the participants and will publish details about this – and about our own experiences – in the weeks to come.

But from the immediate responses – reprinted below – I conclude that the course worked quite well. We will make a number of changes before our next deadline (July 1), but the basic design and philosophy of the course seems adequate.

Questions and answers

At the end of the course, we asked the participants to answer three brief questions:

What did I learn? What do I plan to do? What support will I need?

They responded as follows:

South Africa

  • I learned how to discern between interesting/useful data and irrelevant data. Also useful ways to derive a performance indicator.
  • I do not work in a library, but I am doing research so this will help me in the small survey I shall be doing of pubic libraries in Cape Town, starting to map how they add value to the community.
  • I would like to have continuous access to the blog site because I see that it contains useful material/information.


  • I learn how to interpret data in a meaningful way for the purpose of study.
  • To improve systematic statistical collection for various aspects of library services.
  • More examples in the collection and application of statistics in advocacy program would provide a better understanding of the purpose and use of the statistics in practices.


  • I learnt why to use statistics, different types of statistics, exercise on library statistics, how I can collect and present of data through different formats.
  • I will try to collect various type of correct data like library visits, circulation, different library transaction, library holdings.
  • I need some further training and help from my library staff so we can collect correct data.


  • I did learn today if read statistic is very important end very useful for my work.
  • I plan to teach staff of my library to use and work with Excel
  • I need more information about reading exactly the statistics. This I have to learn about.
    • Very interesting overview of library assoc. situation in different countries
    • Very useful practice with using Excel tools in our work with statistical data at the library association
  • Need for clear IFLA guidelines for libraries and library association about data collecting and analyzing
    • Is next step workshop available? for more people? on country level?


  • Some methods of collecting lib statistics e.g. exit interviews, and the need to balance or complement statistics collected electronically e.g. by security
  • To use the above methods and to complement manual and electronic statistics to qualify the data.
  • Funds to collect good data at my library. Secondly, funds for my Library Association to collect the needed statistics.


  • I learnt to read statistics with practical exercises and discussions. In my library, I can support the results by statistics. It is a school library, but, in the future it is going to open to the public.
  • I think statistics are very important to know the type of population using the library.


  • As a library researcher the course was not specifically aimed at me. I think it is an excellent opportunity for those not familiar with (library)statistics to get accustomed to statistical thinking and explanation and to reflect on its role in library advocacy.
  • For me as a researcher, it once again became clear to me how important it is to be as clear as possible in the presentation of research results (be they statistical in nature or not).
  • As we are developing a yearly public library monitor in the Netherlands, the careful distinction between library outputs (e.g., # of loans and visitors) and outcomes (e.g., knowledge enhanced and entertainment enjoyed) will be taken into account. Outputs are much more easily indicated and measured than outomces. But let us, as a library community, try to develop good indicators and variables for the outcomes soon!


  • More accurate indications about statistical data collection; assessing the relationship between different indicators
  • To present the problems discussed here at the Annual Meeting of Division on Statistics and Assessment (Romanian Library Association), which will be held next week, in Brasov;
    • – to contribute for an increasing recovery of statistical data forms in Romania;
    • – to realize new comparative studies between the most important Romanian libraries
  • Specialists’ papers on these topics and maybe “technical assistance” when these studies are conducted at national level


  • I got a shortly but informative introduction to this kind of library statistics.
  • I will be more skeptical when I fill up my yearly library statistical data as I become better aware of their importance in accordance with the promotion of our future funding.
  • I need further information, for instance, certain library examples and their experiences.


  • I am glad to have attended this workshop. Although I had some experience in this field, I did definitely learn some interesting things. I expect to use some of them within short.
  • I will keep the reader, so that I can get back to it when necessary.
  • An interesting side-effect of this day was the possibility to learn more about what other people from various countries know and would
  • like to know about statistics. It will help me in my future work.


4 Responses to “ST 13/10: Pilot test in Crete”

  1. New blog posts May 17-30 « Plinius Home Says:

    […] Pilot test in Crete […]

  2. PL 30/10: Lecture notes on EBP « Plinius Says:

    […] Pilot test in Crete […]

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    Your entire posting, “ST 13/10: Pilot test in Crete | Global statistics for advocacy” was in fact worth commenting here!
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