Thursday, February 18, 2010

How is the library being used?

We have a lot of statistics available to us on how our patrons (you!) are using the library, and we tend to share them only at the end of the year with a few people (if at all). We thought it would be interesting to you to see some of these stats in the midst of the academic year. How is the library building used? How many database searches happen in a year? How many books and DVDs and whatnot are checked out? Who else is using the library's collections? What is the reach of the library's services? We can't fill in the entire picture with the stats we have, but we can give you some idea on how we are utilized.

These stats reflect what's happened so far this year, running from July 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010. Some stats we keep locally, others we pull from university-wide or OhioLINK-wide systems, and some are provided by database vendors.

Both a Borrower and a Lender Be
- GHL patrons checked out 2,756 books, DVDs, videos from us (1,300 from our local collection, 915 ordered from other MU libraries, and 541 items ordered from OhioLINK - that means that over half of the items used by campus patrons came from libraries beyond GHL).

- The GHL collection registered 3504 checkouts (that's the 1300 items checked out by Middletown patrons above, plus 1,259 items sent to OhioLINK users, 851 sent to other MU libraries, and 94 items sent to libraries around the world - that means that more than 60% of the uses of our materials came from libraries beyond GHL).

- GHL patrons checked out 2,122 course reserve items from us (this includes faculty-placed course reserves, textbooks on reserve, laptops, Wii games, and other equipment).

- In addition to the printed or physical materials above, Middletown patrons have downloaded 3,610 e-books from the OhioLINK E-Book Center.

- In terms of building up our collection, Middletown faculty and staff have ordered 619 items to add to our collection so far this year.

The Quest for Information
- Middletown patrons have performed 29,635 searches in databases provided to us by Ebsco and those hosted by OhioLINK. Statewide, 52% of database searches are done in Academic Search Complete, and our results are right on that average.

- Middletown patrons downloaded 11,757 full-text articles from the Electronic Journal Center. This is in addition to full-text articles found right within Ebsco or other databases.

- As part of getting to these databases, 74 people visit our web site every day. That's a total of 11,445 visits for the year, by 3,397 unique individuals.

A Place for Work, Study, and Remove from the World
- GHL is open 65 hours per week.

- We average 288 visitors per day, for a total of 43,333 vistors this year.

- We regularly schedule the library learning lab (GRD 111) for occasional class sessions. We also had 12 classes meeting in there weekly during fall semester and have 9 meeting in there during this spring.

- Our two STAR Lounges have been checked out 200 times this year, or roughly 1.25 times per day. STAR Lounge 2 is used weekly by a class for its class meetings in this semester.

Helping You Find What You Need
- Inside and outside of the library, we've given library instruction presentations in 51 classes this year, reaching 987 students.

- Our Blackboard Embedded Librarian program reached students in 19 course sections in fall semester and we're working with 21 sections this semester. We expect to reach a total of 700+ students and help them with their information needs.

What don't we know about how the library is used?
- One key part missing from these figures is off-campus use of library resources: all off-campus use is tallied as MU-wide use, so we do not know how many patrons are using databases from home.

- We don't have stats for all database searches - we're missing uses of Lexis-Nexis and other databases.

- We don't know (yet) how many questions we field in a day at our InfoDesk (whether in person or by phone or email or text). We completed a year-long tally of questions in December 2009, but haven't finished analyzing the results yet.

- We haven't surveyed the campus population at large about their use of our resources and their perception of the quality of our service for some time. We are hoping to offer such a survey in the next academic year, but we hope in the meantime you'll let us know what you think about the library, what you need from us, and what materials we should order for the collection.

On Average
Taking these numbers and guessing at a total Middletown community of 2500 students, faculty and staff members, and community patrons, here's what can be said about the average library patron. She:

- visits the library every nine days.
- checks four items out from the library in a year (reserves and local/MU/OhioLINK collection items)
- performs 22 database searches per year.
- accesses the library web site eight times per year.
- views 2.5 e-books each year.
- participates in a library instruction session every other year (if she is a student).

With a little over half a year in, we're interested to see how the rest of the year comes together. Thanks to everyone for making the library and its resources a vital part of your academic lives!

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