Since my career as a librarian began I was frustrated by how data was collected and then used to "prove" our worth to those who held the budget. I understand fully if someone has knowledge of how to use numbers they can prove anything. There is obvious value in proving a library and of course a librarians worth, but there is GREATER value in proving it in a tangible way that allows the library to shift it's practices to meet it's users need better, and have actual measurable outcomes.
And lest we forget an underlying theme to day one of EBLIP 9, Correlation is not Causation!
So often the ways of collection I've observed mean there are huge assumptions being made, but as a presenter pointed out, Just because the number of people drowned by falling into a pool correlates to films Nicolas Cage was in does NOT mean one caused the other.
My research began the summer of my first instruction position, encouraged by my director. Remedying what felt like a hole in my education I read and delved till I developed a better understanding, and better terminology to speak about evidence based practices in libraries. My over arching focus was on ways of assessment that are more precise but as easy to conduct as a pre-post test, and what to do with this data. My research since then has gone across the spectrum, working its way into all aspects of library life for me.
Data driven librarianship is a career goal.
The joy of this conference is that while small, it is filled with individuals that have come to the same conclusions through various means. It is through numbers not just word of mouth that relevant changes can happen in a library, making the numbers that justify our continued existence easier to come by long term.
Want to read more? Follow my twitter till tomorrow evening and watch for the hashtag #eblip9!