Purpose. To offer a range of practical suggestions for library staff and others who intend to collect and analyze data that describe their networked services. Method/approach. Based on the author's experience in completing a number of funded research projects on this topic, working directly with libraries in collecting networked statistics and implementing the findings from those efforts, and observing best practices at those libraries. Findings. Factors dealing with understanding the evaluation context, planning, training, organization, determining appropriate data collection methods, managing data, and knowing the target audience for reporting are all‐important. Details a number of specific factors and strategies that can be used to increase the success of collecting networked statistics. Practical implications. Thinking about the preparation needed to collect networked statistics and how the process can be handled as efficiently as possible before the effort begins can help ensure that the library staff uses its time as wisely as possible in the data collection process, collects high quality and useful data, integrates these data into other library data, can draw upon the data for future purposes through a management information system, and uses the data to improve overall library decision making, planning, and meeting community information needs.
VINE – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2004
Keywords: Project evaluation; Statistics; Data handling; Libraries
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