14 January 2011

Data collection in the service of libraries

By Lynn Connaway

Congress Track: Users driving access and services

The Library Theory and Research and Statistics and Evaluation Sections are seeking proposals for a program to be held at the IFLA Conference in Puerto Rico in August, 2011. Evidence-based librarianship and effective data collection lie at the heart of practical problem solving in contemporary library theory and practice. Data also are important to persuade library funders and supporters that our work has value and in assessing and developing user services. Librarians need to apply the same research techniques and standards to our own problems that our users apply to their topics.

Papers for this session on applied research should pose a concrete and answerable research question that presents a practical problem that a library or group of libraries needs to solve, the data (or ways to collect the data) that could influence the solution, and a means of data analysis that practicing librarians could use to get results.

Examples include problems involving:

  • space (gate-counts, seating space, meeting rooms),
  • selection (cost figures, check-out or download statistics),
  • personnel (staffing comparisons, efficiency measures),
  • transformations (repository / open access use, electronic versus paper material use),
  • users and non-users (correlations of library use or non-use with socio-demographics, social and cultural behaviour; non-user-surveys),or
  • services (search statistics, measures of effectiveness, measures of missing services).

Authors of successful proposals will be asked to write a brief paper summarizing their research for publication in the IFLA Proceedings. All selected presenters will be listed in the official conference program.

Proposals must include the following information:

  1. Name and institution of speaker(s)
  2. Contact information for speaker(s)
  3. Brief biographical information
  4. Proposal title
  5. Brief (500 word) description of the research methodology and findings and presentation format
  6. Language of presentation

Proposals should be sent to Dr. Lynn Silipigni Connaway, connawal@oclc.org, by February 14, 2011.

Please include LTR Section IFLA Proposal in the subject line.

Finalists will be notified by March 14, 2011, and will be expected to submit final versions of their papers in one of the official IFLA languages by May 15, 2011.

For more information, please contact Terry Weech (Chair. Library Theory and Research Section) at weech@illinois.edu.


Lynn Silipigni Connaway
Ph.D.Senior Research Scientist
OCLC Research
connawal@oclc.org

303-246-3623
Fax: 614-718-7378
http://www.oclc.org/research/people/connaway.htm

Library Theory and Research, Statistics and evaluation

List all IFLA news