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SpringyNews - New Age Of Instruction

August 2019

Who's Counting? YOU Should Be!

Gone are the days of casually recording statistics. Not only is it imperative that the library keep track of what were once essentially just numbers, you need to be able to analyze that data and make decisions based on the conclusions. Do we need to build more LibGuides on Economics? Are the graduate students booking one-on-one consultations? Do the attendees of library instruction sessions recommend them to their friends and family? What does the data say? If you care about being able to answer these questions and more like them, you'll take gathering and analyzing statistics seriously. 


To get some real actionable data to help shape your Instruction Sessions, use LibInsight datasets for pre- and post-instruction collection. Create a dataset to share with those about to attend an instruction session at your library that asks things like:

  • Have you attended an instruction session here before?
  • How did you find out about this session?
  • Please characterize your current level of knowledge with [topic].

This way you'll have more to add to the usual metrics you collect like Sophomore / Business / Professor Smith, etc. Then you can similarly create a dataset for distribution after they've attended your class that asks:

  • Was this class well promoted/marketed?
  • Did it teach you what the description said it would?
  • Would you recommend the class to your friends/classmates?
  • Please select the word that describes you level of knowledge with [topic] after having taken this class.

This is just a drop in the bucket. Really think about what you want to know. Is it important, for instance, to know how your instructors rate? Perhaps you want to know if the dates and times you offer your sessions are considered convenient. Customize the dataset per your needs. Don't forget to create an Instruction Sessions Dashboard to share this vital information with those who are interested.


To meet the challenges of advancing our expectations from statistics, a little set up can lead to a lot of success. With fine planning and keeping an eye on the big picture, we can use the data we collect to:

  • Communicate how the library aids in retention and contributes to student success.
  • Review where you began and discuss the distance to your goals.
  • See the big picture. Learn what you're missing and where you're excelling.

When you do your patron load into your OPAC for the upcoming academic year, while you're at it, take the step and load it into your LibCRM system as well! It will help you with future recording, tracking and analysis projects. For example, you could:

  • Spearhead a project to take a closer look at the instruction sessions that are happening at your library.
  • Record actual attendance to everything from your Library Tours to your Library Orientation Series, Faculty-Requested Instruction Sessions, and beyond.

Are there a group of students who have attended more than 2 instruction sessions at the library? Do their profiles all show a membership status of student of Chemistry Department? Perhaps the faculty there are heavily promoting the library. It's always good to have allies! These kinds of questions can be asked and answered in LibCRM.

Pro tip: Get as detailed as you can with these profile relationships and memberships and you'll yield more report results.

Need that solution. Click here to reach the Springshare Sales Team