February 2011 Archives

stats.jpg Where there's activity, there should be measurement, since the best way to make sure you're supporting the *right* resources is by keeping an eye on how they're being used.

Usage statistics have been available for several OCLC services for years, but I'm happy to announce that we've just given them a major overhaul in terms of look-and-feel and some important interface improvements. In addition to an easier, more intuitive interface, the service now allows for emailing/exporting reports (to Excel) prior to opening one up. Since many of you simply want to grab the data and manipulate in a spreadsheet, this new feature will help you save time.

Other enhancements include: COUNTER-compliant statistics for FirstSearch databases, a SUSHI registered server (www.stats.oclc.org/sushi/ws), WorldCat Navigator statistics for Navigator groups, new help files and WebDewey statistics. Stats are now available for the following services:

  • FirstSearch
  • WorldCat.org
  • WorldCat Resource Sharing
  • Online Cataloging
  • WebDewey
  • Digital Collections
  • WorldCat Link Manager
  • WorldCat Navigator
Any active OCLC authorization/password may be used to access to www.stats.oclc.org. If you are unsure of your logon information, please contact customer support at support@oclc.org. We really want everyone using OCLC services to be comfortable accessing statistics about them -- we can do a better job of improving our cooperative services if we have good information from you about how they're being used, and you can use the information to help inform decisions about the future.

If you have any questions or suggestions about how to make OCLC usage statistics better, please feel free to contact me at harnishk@oclc.org.

Kathryn Harnish
Senior Product Manager, OCLC

geek_cover.jpg A couple of years ago, we embarked on a research journey to test the question:

Can a large-scale library support campaign effectively increase and sustain funding for U.S. public libraries by reaching and influencing the segments of the voting population that have the most potential to become committed library supporters?
The research findings in From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America, published in 2008, indicated that the answer is 'yes.' So, with the help of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we wanted to test the research in the field. An awareness campaign, informed by the research, was piloted in partnership with nearly 100 U.S. public libraries in Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

Geek the Library: A Community Awareness Campaign, a comprehensive report documenting the findings from the Geek the Library pilot campaign, is now available for download. The report discusses the history behind the project, it documents the qualitative and quantitative research conducted before and after the pilot campaign, and provides insight from the important experience of the dedicated pilot libraries.

Geek the Library had strong results in the pilot markets and the combined findings indicate that a larger-scale awareness campaign, such as Geek the Library, can deliver results.

  • Geek the Library gets people's attention. In just five months, more than half of surveyed residents were familiar with the campaign.
  • Geek the Library raises awareness. Perceptions and attitudes around the library's importance and value in the community improved in southern Georgia, and more people said they were willing to fund the library.
  • Geek the Library encourages action. Over two-thirds of surveyed residents in both southern Georgia and central Iowa had planned or had taken an action as a result of the campaign, including talking to friends and family about the library or attending a library event.
 The report provides detailed results from the pilot and is full of interesting examples of the creative ways pilot libraries implemented the campaign locally. I would like to thank each and every library participant for their significant commitment to making the pilot a success.

Download the report for free.

If you are interested in running Geek the Library in your community, the campaign is now available freely to all U.S. public libraries. Many libraries across the country have already signed up to run the campaign in their community. Visit get.geekthelibrary.org for more information.

In my last post, I said I was eager to see what kinds of new partnerships will be coming down the road. We announced the WorldCat Local implementation of HathiTrust only a couple weeks ago, and am glad to announce our next strategic partnership activity so soon afterwards.

I'm happy to report that we've recently deepened our relationship with the Web's most popular online citation site, EasyBib.com, announcing that we'll build a citation service together with EasyBib.com creators, ImagineEasy Solutions, LLC. EasyBib already generates a robust traffic stream to libraries through WorldCat.org, using the WorldCat Search API to power book search citations: since March 2010 when we first entered into partnership with EasyBib, they've sent more than 5 million calls/month to the WorldCat Search API. This means that students creating bibliographies using EasyBib easily find their way to library resources from within their preferred workflow.

In the next phase of the partnership we'll work with ImagineEasy to develop a version of EasyBib that's customized for an individual library or group of libraries. This customized view adds additional functionality that simply isn't available in other versions of EasyBib right now--things like having deep links in to your catalog, or the ability to embed a virtual reference box. This provides the tools that help keep libraries in mind for people as they search, cite and reference materials. And that helps solidify the library's place in the research process. People are already using EasyBib to auto-generate citations (to the tune of 23 million visits in 2010). This project will help OCLC members be in that space on behalf of their users.

The EasyBib Library Edition is in beta phase now. We've asked a few representative libraries to help us test the beta site with their users and improve the process. I look forward to sharing more news with you about this project, as we make progress.

Our goal in developing these partnerships is deliver on our vision: to make library resources, services and expertise available at the point of need, within existing user workflows and in a manner that users want and understand.