LIR Seminar: “Deciphering Data: Informing Decision-making, Transforming User Experience” December 5th

If you have an interest in library metrics, resource usage, and evidence-based library management, then this day-long seminar is for you.  We will hear about with consortial deals, decoding data, counting with COUNTER and other analytical tools.

The seminar is free to all paid-up LIR members and you can register here. For attendees from non-LIR member organisations, the attendance fee is €100. Submit a purchase order number at time of registration and your institution will be invoiced for the fee. Contact Committee Members if you have any questions.

Keynote Speakers

What’s the Big Deal? Counting what counts

What’s the Big Deal? Counting what counts

Cathal McCauley

University Librarian, Maynooth University and Irish University Libraries Collaboration Centre (IULCC) Director

JISC Library Analytics Services

JISC Library Analytics Services

Jo Lambert

Jisc Service Manager

COUNTER – new possibilities with release 5

COUNTER – new possibilities with release 5

Daniel Albertsson

The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Executive Committee Member; COUNTER.


09:30 Registration & tea/coffee
09:55 Seminar opening
10:00 What’s the Big Deal? Counting what counts Cathal McCauley
10:45 COUNTER – new possibilities with release 5 Daniel Albertsson
11:15 Q&A
11:25 Break
11:45 NetSearch Keith Maycock
12:15 Decoding the Data Maze Rose Buttimer
12:45 Q&A
12:55 Lunch
13:40 JISC Library Analytics Services Jo Lambert
14:10 TBC Cora Gleeson
14:25 Modelling Shelf Space from Catalogue Metadata Joe Nankivell
14:40 Inside the work of the IReL Monitoring Group Rose Buttimer, Aaron Binchy
14:55 Data-informed collections management and GreenGlass in UCD Library Catherine Ryan
15:10 Q&A
15:20 Seminar close followied by AGM

Getting There

The map below gives a broad perspective of where Grangegorman is located in Dublin.  For those who want to know how to get to this free conference, there is a detailed description of how to get to Grangegorman on the DIT website.

St Laurence's Chapel

Expressions of Interest:

Expressions of interest and proposals for short presentations (20 minutes)  should be forwarded to LIRCTTE@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE by Friday 28th September. Proposals for presentations should be limited to 200 words.

About the Venue, St. Laurence’s Chapel

This Gothic Revival chapel was built in 1850, on the site west of Grangegorman Lower along with two matching infirmaries on either side as part of the Richmond Lunatic Asylum. It served both Roman Catholic and Church of Ireland patients in the hospital, until a dedicated Church of Ireland chapel was constructed later.

Today, the Chapel serves as a multi-purpose space that is used for exhibitions, rehearsals, workshops, speakers, receptions, meditation as well as religious service.

Talk Abstracts

What’s the Big Deal? Counting what Counts - Cathal McCauley
COUNTER – new possibilities with release 5 - Daniel Albertsson
COUNTER provides the Code of Practice that enables publishers and vendors to report usage of their electronic resources in a consistent way. This enables libraries to compare data received from different publishers and vendors. A new release of the standard will go live February 2019 (containing January 2019 usage). This talk will give an overview of the new changes and how the new release differs from the current one. Focus will be on the new possibilities for evaluating e-resources based usage statistics.
NetSearch - Keith Maycock
Decoding the Data Maze - Rose Buttimer
In an age of big data, one of the key challenges facing all practitioners is how to minimise overload in the midst of increasing volumes and varieties of accessible details. In order to simplify the process, this presentation looks at different ways of sourcing, managing and presenting information within different contexts. The key starting point in navigating the maze is in asking the right questions. Identifying the questions allows you to create an appropriate data collection plan, which will focus your quest for answers. Once materials are collected, the analysis and presentation of information will vary according to who your target audience is. To demonstrate how data can be used to inform stakeholder decisions, some examples will be shared and potential risks associated in decoding data will be highlighted.
JISC Library Analytics Services - Jo Lambert
Accurate and reliable usage data are critical to support academic libraries in analysis and evaluation of e-resources. Comparable usage statistics help to demonstrate return on investment, to support policy and planning processes, to benchmark against comparable organisations and to support advocacy. Gathering, managing, measuring and analysing usage data to support each of these processes is imperative. However, such activities are time consuming and involve significant duplication of effort, with libraries globally replicating similar tasks. Jisc, a UK educational not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions delivers library analytics services which aim to save time, increase efficiency, improve data quality and support comparison and benchmarking. This session will outline recent Jisc developments to show how data, reports and visualisations are supporting new ideas and insights.
TBC - Cora Gleeson
Modelling Shelf Space from Catalogue Metadata - Joe Nankivell
How do we know how much shelf space our book stock takes up? The data is not recorded in the bibliographic record, so we measure the shelves, or we use a rule of thumb such as SCONUL’s figure of 36 books/metre. The first is labour-intensive, and while the second may help calculate future growth, it is hardly precise. As libraries everywhere shift their focus towards downsizing and reclaiming the space taken by redundant stock, the need arises for a simple and accurate system for measuring the potential space gain. I am conducting a small piece of research to address this by exploring the statistical relationship between an item’s physical description (MARC 300) and its thickness in millimetres. A rough correlation between pagination and thickness has already been established (Daehn 1982, 37), and this has been borne out by a preliminary survey of c. 500 items. The next phase of the project is to gather precise measurements of a larger sample (c. 4,000–5,000 items) to develop a more nuanced model. We will scan the barcode of each item, and record its thickness, height, and binding, together with measurements of the entire shelf. These details will be combined with MARC data, and the resulting dataset will be examined to establish what predictive value (if any) the MARC 300 holds. The end goal is to create a tool that will estimate the shelf space of any list of items. My 20-minute talk will give an account of this project, and will cover: Sampling methodology; Extracting pagination from MARC 300; Controlling for height and year; The problem of binding; Final phase: making it useful.
Inside the work of the IReL Monitoring Group - Rose Buttimer, Aaron Binchy
The IReL Monitoring Group (IMG) was founded back in 2005 and began its work in 2006. One of its primary roles has been to collate and analyse usage statistics on electronic journals, e-books, aggregators and databases. This paper will examine how the IReL consortium data has been collected and shared amongst members over the past 12 years. It will look at the practicalities of harvesting raw data and the process involved in storing and converting it into meaningful information. This paper will also reflect on what metrics were chosen and the reasons behind those choices. Cost Per Use (CPU) has been a predominant metric used in assessing the value for money provided by various collections and has been influential in the IReL decision making process over the years. However, other non-CPU factors will be touched upon. The IMG is always mindful of the important role that meaningful data plays in decision making. CPU can be viewed as a blunt instrument. Emerging measurements are sought to take into account impact factors and new models that are changing the publishing and funding landscape. The IMG workflows will need to develop ways of incorporating new requirements into its resource analysis and usage reporting.
Data-informed collections management and GreenGlass in UCD Library - Catherine Ryan
The paper will report on the Collections Curation project in UCD Library, an evidence-based project undertaken by UCD Library to improve its print book collections. It will outline the approach taken by the Library, including the use of GreenGlass, a decision support tool designed to help libraries with deselection and print management. Academic library collections are organic, constantly growing and changing and need to be regularly reviewed and curated to maintain quality, align with existing and emerging research and teaching requirements, and preserve important and unique materials for future consultation and research. This project draws on quantitative and qualitative data gathered from Greenglass, our LMS, InfoHub, UCD’s primary management information system, and the UCD web site. We also draw on academic and library staff knowledge about the collections and the people who use them. By analysing this data we were able to evaluate user behaviour, user needs, and the collections themselves, and were able to develop selection, retention and withdrawal criteria for each area of the collection along with a detailed school profile setting out the specific needs of individual schools. We were also able to develop a strategy for managing our collections and library spaces over the long-term.