Goal and Plan
Goal:
Convince you to record details of
all your reference transactions
Plan:
1. Show you how easy it is to do this
2. Describe benefits
* For instruction
* For training and evaluation
* For management decisions
3. Answer your questions
4. Closing remarks
Our Story
July 2006:
Aug. 2006:
Sept. 2006:
Oct. 2006:
Jan. 2007:
Hired 4 new reference staff.
Begin an assault on paper.
Explore options for recording stats
on computer.
Discover LibStats, install it, begin
testing.
Begin recording all Hale Library
Help Desk and Ask A Librarian
transactions in LibStats.
LibStats 101

Open Source from University of Wisconsin
http://code.google.com/p/libstats/



Requires PHP enabled server
Web-based database
 Multiple people can use it simultaneously
 Requires username and password to use
Extremely easy to use!
How we use LibStats

Login from both staff computers each morning and
leave it open until closing time.

Record every question we receive


In person at the Hale Library Help Desk.
Through our Ask A Librarian phone, e-mail, and IM
service.
A Closer Look at LibStats
Select an entry from each box, and type your
initials.
A Closer Look at LibStats
Then record information about the question and
the answer.
A Closer Look at LibStats
The transaction will then appear in the list below the entry
form. The date and time are added automatically.
A Closer Look at LibStats
You can edit or delete a transaction by clicking it’s number.
Benefits of Recording So Much Data

It’s fun to read (honest!)

It’s educational

It helps improve services
Insight from Libstats for
Instruction
Spark
 Conversation between a programmer, the
instruction coordinator, and an instruction
resident
 Occurred when looking at digital projects
regarding Instruction as a whole
Idea
Questions in Libstats hold valuable
information that can help guide instruction
efforts.
Data and Coding
 January 3, 2007 through May 3, 2007
 1,000 entries examined to create topic codes
 4,674 questions coded, blank entries not
included
Data and Coding
 Measure of user awareness
 Determine level of specificity
 A priori scheme better suited for future
analysis
Example Codes
Known item request
5
Topic research
11
Item not on shelf
28
Example Question
Coded Questions
Findings
Results – Grouped Codes
“Not Representative” includes entries that do not represent K-State users such as
questions from vendors.
Code Frequency by Month
Topic Research
250
200
150
100
50
0
1
2
3
Month
4
Code Frequency by Month
Known Item Requests
250
200
150
100
50
0
1
2
3
Month
4
Code Frequency by Month
How to Print & Color Printing Questions
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1
2
3
Month
4
Code Frequency by Day
Known Item Request
200
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Code Frequency by Day
Technical Problems
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Code Frequency by Day
Hours
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
8:
00
A
9: M
00
10 AM
:0
0
11 AM
:0
0
12 AM
:0
0
P
1: M
00
P
2: M
00
P
3: M
00
P
4: M
00
P
5: M
00
P
6: M
00
P
7: M
00
P
8: M
00
P
9: M
00
10 PM
:0
0
PM
Code Frequency By Half Hour
Known Item Requests
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
8:
00
A
9: M
00
10 AM
:0
0
11 AM
:0
0
12 AM
:0
0
P
1: M
00
P
2: M
00
P
3: M
00
P
4: M
00
P
5: M
00
P
6: M
00
P
7: M
00
P
8: M
00
P
9: M
00
10 PM
:0
0
PM
Code Frequency By Half Hour
Topic Research
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
8:
00
A
9: M
00
10 AM
:0
0
AM
11
:0
0
12 AM
:0
0
P
1: M
00
P
2: M
00
P
3: M
00
P
4: M
00
P
5: M
00
P
6: M
00
P
7: M
00
P
8: M
00
P
9: M
30
PM
Code Frequency By Half Hour
How to Print
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Supplies
How to Print
Navigation
Technical
Assistance
Topic Research
Cash to Chip
Machine/Change
Requests
Hourly Code Frequency
8:00 AM
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
Hourly Code Frequency
12:30 PM
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Known Item
Topic
Research
Technical
Assistance
Scanner
How to Print
Call Number
Help
Hourly Code Frequency
8:00 PM
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Known Item
Topic Research
Technical Assistance
Call Number Help
Hourly Code Frequency
10:00 PM
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Known Item
Topic
Research
Technical
Assistance
Catalog
Instruction
Scanner
Call Number
Help
Most Frequent Codes
Known Item Request
782
Topic Research
706
Technical Assistance
624
Call Number Help Request
283
How to Print (b&w/color)
200
Challenges
 Referrals are not adequately captured in this
analysis. Exporting problems with hard returns.
 689 empty entries
 150 entries were too vague to classify
 Example: find book
 Not true needs—only those that asked questions
Staff Training and Evaluation
Staff Training and Evaluation
 Are other libraries using a web-based
tracking system for reference staff training?
 Survey comments from Hale Library Help
Desk staff
 Staff Training
 Reference Reflection & Assessment
Are other libraries using this type of tool
for staff training?
Barton, E, & Burns, A. (2006). “Ref Logs Now” Library
Journal, 131 (16), 28-30 .

“I know this question came up last semester, but I can’t
remember the best sources to use”
Smith, M. (2006). “A Tool for All Places: a Web-Based
Reference Statistics System” Reference Services Review,
34 (2), 298-315.
What are other librarians saying?
http://pegasuslibrarian.blogspot.com/2006/10/making-reference-desk-statistics-fun.html
Survey
https://online.ksu.edu/Survey/PublicReport?offeringId=70782
What do you like about Libstats?
Search to find
answers to
frequently
asked
questions
I like that Libstats is keyword
searchable and you can look
up your own initials to see all
the transactions you’ve
entered.
I like that there is a
record of the actual
transaction, and you
can learn from what
other people have
done.
Training Staff to use Libstats
“It's easy to use”
Staff Survey Response
 Recording Reference Transactions guide was
created and posted to General Reference
wiki

Updates added continually
 Training sessions held on case by case basis
for new staff along with yearly refresher
sessions for returning Help Desk staff
Staff Training
“I think it’s (Libstats) useful to know what has
been going on, especially if there are ongoing
or similar questions. Also, it’s a learning tool
because sometimes people give different
answers than I would.”
Staff Survey Response
Training Perspectives on Libstats

Determine training needs and strengths of reference
staff

Learn how to handle certain types of questions

See how others answer similar questions

Form of staff communication

Use for reference evaluation

Allows collaborative learning
Training Needs
Strengths
Strengths
Answer Certain Types of Questions

Scavenger hunts

Class assignments

Known Problems/Issues
Scavenger Hunts
Q: Where can I find the volume and issue numbers for
Jan.-March 1983 issues of Time? Is the microfilm
collection stored in alphabetical or call number order?
How can I find out the major headline on the New
York times for December 8, 1941?
 A: v. 121, no. 1 thru v. 121, no. 13/call number
order/Microforms (3rd Floor, Hale) *Note: this is a
Speech "scavenger hunt" assignment we also got
thru IM last week.
Class Assignments
“Use in case of recurring class project questions”
Libstats Survey Response
 Q: Marketing class assignment MKTG 542 - looking
for industry info using list of sources from instructor
 A: student was looking for U.S. Market Trends and
Forecasts - it is in Stacks due to old age. We looked
at the Marketing & Int'l Business subject guide page.
Used Business and Company Resource Center,
Industry: Child Care - had some more recent info that
looked helpful. She also used ABI/Inform for articles.
Known Issue/Problem
“See if there have been any computer or technical problems”
Libstats Survey Response
 Q: What does it mean when the Cash to Chip
machine says "Card is Mute"?
 A: Not sure--anyone know this? [Yes - from staff
member X - it means that their chip is bad.
Sometimes you can fix it by rubbing it with a piece of
cloth, such as your shirt. Cotton seems to work best.
But if that doesn't work, they need to go to the ID
card center and get a new one]
Similar Question, but Different Answer
Q: How do I do in-text
citations in APA?
A: I referred her to the
APA citation manual and
showed her the section in
chapter 3 that addresses
in-text citations.
Q: how to cite
information from a
website in APA style
Q: questions about
APA style and
electronic resources
A: used APA manual,
plus examples on APA
web page, plus KSUL
APA guide under Citing
Resources
A: suggested where
to find more
information on
citation style for eresources (OWL at
Purdue)
Evaluation: Reference Batting Practice
 Group Discussion and Reflection

Grand Slam, Home Run,
Strike Out, Bunt, Ball
Personal
Colleagues
Subject Librarian Assessment
“To see what types of questions are being
asked, whether any are from my departments,
and how questions are being answered”
Staff Survey Response

Subject librarians read and evaluate questions
answered by other library staff

Discuss questions/answers as a group or
individually to provide training in subject area of
need
Collaborative Learning
Subject
Librarian
Sessions
Batting Practice
What can
we do
differently?
Dialogue, Reflection,
Assessment
Challenge
Assumptions
New Collective Knowledge
Future Training Considerations
 Utilize more controlled vocabulary or codes in
the question/answer areas for more refined
search capability
 Create FAQS for future training purposes
based on actual Libstats questions
 Have subject librarians create stock answers
to common questions
Management Decisions

A wealth of reference data can help
management:

Identify opportunities for improving services

Determine when and how to staff service points
Service Improvement: Helping Patrons Pay
for Printing
Before LibStats:


Anecdotal evidence
Lack of awareness of magnitude of problem
Service Improvement: Helping Patrons
Pay for Printing
LibStats helped document the problem:
Service Improvement: Helping Patrons
Pay for Printing
LibStats helped document problem:
Service Improvement: Helping Patrons
Pay for Printing
Danielle worked with the printing system
managers to create a special printing account.
Service Improvement: Fax Machine
Hale library had fax machine until mid March
Question:
Should we get one?
Answer:
Search LibStats for “fax machine”
to assess extent of need.
Service Improvement: Fax Machine
Service Improvement: Other Examples

Change machine


Scanner settings


LibStats documented need for machine offering
change for bills larger than $5
LibStats supported request for change to default
settings on our scanners
Future possibilities


Collection Development
Changes to Website
Staffing Decisions
LibStats automatically records time, date, and day
of week for every transaction.
Staffing Decisions
LibStats includes seven report options:
Staffing Decisions
Data Dump is best for complex analysis
Step 1: Save the data to your computer.
Staffing Decisions
Step 2: Open Excel
Step 3: Import the data
Staffing Decisions
Text Import Wizard opens.
Select delimited file.
Staffing Decisions
Indicate that commas are used for the delimiter.
Staffing Decisions
Click Finish.
Import Data box will appear.
Select Existing Worksheet.
Staffing Decisions
Staffing Decisions
Danielle has been using the data to answer
several questions:




When to staff IM off the desk
When to have two staff at desk versus one.
When to experiment with closing Reception Desk
At what times is it most essential to have staff with
technical expertise?
When to staff IM off the desk
Question: When is IM service slow enough
between 8-5 M-F to staff from the Hale Library
Help Desk?
Analysis:
1. Sort data by question format
2. Sort IM by day of week, then by time
3. Count number of IM transactions for each hour of
each day.
Time
Decision: staff IM off desk 10-5 M-F
Friday 4
Friday 2
Friday 12
Friday 10
Friday 8
Thursday 3
Thursday 1
Thursday 11
Thursday 9
Wednesday 4
Wednesday 2
Wednesday 12
Wednesday 10
Wednesday 8
Tuesday 3
Data:
Tuesday 1
Tuesday 11
Tuesday 9
Monday 4
Monday 2
Monday 12
Monday 10
Monday 8
Number of Questions
When to staff IM off the desk
IM questions by time
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
When to single staff the desk
Question: When is the Hale Library Help Desk
slow enough to have just one staff person
working there?
Analysis:
1. Sort data by day of week, then by time
2. Create a separate worksheet for each day.
3. Count number of transactions for each hour for each
day.
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Monday
140
120
112
117
106
94
100
98
95
Questions
86
80
70
65
60
42
47
47
45
7
8
9
40
20
20
0
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
Hour
3
4
5
6
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Tuesday
160
136
140
120
111
Questions
102
100
98
100
80
60
81
74
77
69
58
51
46
57
47
40
20
0
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
Hour
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Wednesday
120
111
100
88
93
95
93
84
82
Questions
80
58
60
52
37
40
43
42
27
24
20
0
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
Hour
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Thursday
140
123
120
106
Questions
100
98
97
91
89
80
79
80
75
60
40
38
36
6
7
40
41
8
9
27
20
0
8
9
10
11
12
1
2
Hour
3
4
5
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Friday
120
105
100
88
87
77
Questions
80
67
58
60
56
46
42
40
25
20
0
8
9
10
11
12
1
Hour
2
3
4
5
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Saturday
50
44
45
44
44
40
35
Questions
35
30
34
31
29
28
25
21
20
15
10
5
0
9
10
11
12
1
Hour
2
3
4
5
When to single-staff the desk
Data:
Sunday
80
71
70
62
Questions
60
57
52
57
50
50
46
43
36
40
30
20
10
0
1
2
3
4
5
Hour
6
7
8
9
When to single-staff the desk
Conclusion:
The times during which it is most essential
to double-staff the desk are 10-3 Monday
– Friday.
When to experiment with closing
Reception Desk
Question: What are the two two-hour periods
M-F when the Hale Library Help Desk is
slowest?
Analysis:
Use previous data
Decision:
Monday & Wednesday 8 -10 am
When should most technically adept
staff work the desk?
Question: When does the desk receive
the most technology related questions?
Analysis:
1. Sort data by question type
2. Sort technology and technology referrals by
day and then by time.
3. Count total for each day and time.
When should most technically adept
staff work the desk?
Data:
Tech Questions
35
Number of Questions
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
2
6 8
2
6 i 8 12
3
7
4
8 12
4
8 10
3
4
8 10
1
2
ri at 1 at un un
on on
on on es ues ues e d e d 1 e d e d r s ur s ur s Fr ri
F
S
S
S
h
h
u
M M
M M u T
W W
W W h T
F
S
T
T
T
T
Day and Hour
Answer: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10-3
Questions?
Conclusion
Benefits of Libstats
 Knowledge base






Replaced tally sheet and transcribing
Compare answers
Staff training
Informed decision making
Targeted and informed instruction resources
Improved service
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Libstats: Staff Training - K