ST 12/12: Strange visits

August 22, 2012 by

The experts that produced ISO standard 11620:2008 have suggested that libraries should measure visits per capita as follows

  • The total number of visits to the library, either physical or virtual, during a full year divided by the total number of persons in the population to be served.
  • For the purpose of this performance indicator, a visit is the act of entering the library premises or accessing the library’s website in order to use one of the services provided by the library.

At the moment I am not aware of single library that has actually accepted this recommendation. The lack of implementation is easy to understand. The proposal is hard to grasp. The reason is simple. Most people experience and conceptualize physical and virtual visits as different types of entities. Read the rest of this entry »


ST 11/12: IFLA papers in statistics and evaluation

August 21, 2012 by

The following papers about library statistics were presented in Helsinki:

Session 76 — Crisis? What crisis? The use of statistics and data for libraries at a turning point — Statistics and Evaluation

  • 2nd. National Census of Dominican Libraries: vital statistics at a turning point [2do. Censo Nacional de Bibliotecas Dominicanas: estadísticas vitales en un momento decisivo] YUMARYS ALT. POLANCO-ALMONTE and CÉLIDA ÁLVAREZ-ARMENTEROS (Biblioteca Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña (BNPHU), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
  • Supporting strategic change through statistics of virtual library usage. SEBASTIAN MUNDT (Stuttgart Media University, Stuttgart, Germany). Picture, left
  • Measuring the public library’s societal value: a methodological research program. FRANK HUYSMANS (University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands) and MARJOLEIN OOMES (Netherlands Institute for Public Libraries, The Hague, Netherlands). Picture, right

Read the rest of this entry »

ST 10/12: A model analysis of the library sector

August 20, 2012 by

I am impressed by South Africa’s Library and Information Services (LIS)  Transformation Charter (July 2009, 6th Draft).

The document, which is available on the web, gives a clear, detailed, forceful and realistic analysis of the country’s  library sector. It also includes useful statistical data.

The report shows that libraries must be understood in their local context and as part of broad social processes:

Read the rest of this entry »

ST 9/12: From sites to streams

August 17, 2012 by

The IFLA conference in Helsinki demonstrated that communication patterns on the web are changing. Ordinary blogging is strongly down – compared with earlier conferences, while twittering is way up.

Less than fifty blog posts (with the wlic2012 tag) were published from April 1 till August 15.  More than fifty tweets were published (or republished) during the last four hours, from 11.30 AM to 3.30 PM (Helsinki time).

This year’s IFLA Express was nicely designed, with main articles in the middel and RSS streams from both channels on the side: blogs to the left and tweets to the right.

Read the rest of this entry »

ST 8/12: Into innovation space

August 16, 2012 by

Division 4 has a new working group.

The group is a short term one. We will work this autumn to develop proposals to the Professional Committee for more effective communication within IFLA. We want more transparent dialogue on the web between policy and decision makers, on the one hand, and ordinary participants, committee members and officers from SIGs and sections, on the other.

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ST 7/12: Walk the talk

August 14, 2012 by

Within the IFLA system, The Statistics and Evaluation Section belongs to Division four.

Division four consists of sections that give technical support of a general kind (statistics, management, buildings, research and training) to sections that deal with topics that are specific to libraries (catalogueing, reference, preservation, …)

At our Division meeting on Sunday, ably led by Anna Maria Tammaro, we had a lively discussion about communication within IFLA. The organization is definitely moving towards greater openness, participation and web awareness. I recognize and appreciate that.

Read the rest of this entry »

ST 6/12: Statistics for Advocacy in Africa

August 4, 2012 by

In June, a team of teachers from Oslo and Kampala conducted three training events at Makerere University Library.

The main event was an intensive two week LATINA workshop on elearning and digital librarianship for professional librarians from East Africa. (LATINA stands for Learning And Teaching IN A digital world). But we also arranged two one day courses. LATINA for executives was aimed at managers who sent staff members to the main course.

Practical statistics

And on Monday July 2, Maria Musoke, the director of Makerere University Library, and Tord Høivik (that’s me) co-directed the first Statistics for Advocacy training in Africa. The detailed program, with teaching materials, has been published here, in my Google Site on Practical statistics.

Nearly all the participants came from academic libraries. The course contents had been modified to fit their situation.

But big changes were not needed. In Africa academic libraries tend to be much more engaged in development issues than their counterparts in Europe and North America. Academic research is also more development oriented. This means that academic libraries also need to demonstrate their value outside the university campus.
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ST 5/12: Metropolitan statistics

March 23, 2012 by

The section on Metropolitan Libraries at IFLA collects useful annual statistics.

In a digitalized society, libraries need to develop better information systems. Librarians need new skills and greater understanding of statistical and economic analysis. Our metropolitan libraries represent the most powerful community of public library professionals.  Their statistical work deserves to be better known.

Discussions about library statistics often take place in rather closed environments. The discussions in and around ISO is an obvious example. But many other organizations and network tend to do their statistical development work outside the public sphere. Limiting access may be comfortable in the short run, but it harms the profession in the long run.

Read the rest of this entry »

ST 4/12: Mid-term in Berlin

March 3, 2012 by

Next week our Statistics and Evaluation Section will have its first mid-term meeting in a long, long time.

Or is it the first one ever? The sessions at IFLA itself tend to be hurried – and consumed by practical and administrative matters. I look forward to have more time for professional discussions with a cool cohort of colleagues.

The draft agenda looks as follows:

Read the rest of this entry »

ST 3/12: Advocacy in Uganda

March 2, 2012 by

Statistics for Advocacy is going to Uganda.

Maria Musoke, the Director of Makerere University Library (Maklib) in Kampala, Uganda, and Tord Høivik, Secretary of SES (IFLA), will join forces and co-direct the first Statistics for Advocacy course in Africa on Monday, July 2, 2012.  Read more at Statistics for Advocacy at Makerere.

Professor Musoke attended the first pilot course in Chania, Greece, June 2010. She says: – Yes, Maklib is interested; this is something we should indeed do because all libraries need an update on statistics. … After the workshop you held at Crete during QQML, I tried to interest  libarians and some were indeed interested.

We plan to use the new training facilities that the LATINA Africa project is setting up at Maklib in mid-June. We aim for a group of not more than twenty and will start marketing well before Easter.