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CURRENT TRENDS IN THE COLLECTION AND USE OF STATISTICS IN AFRICAN LIBRARIES Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware University of Namibia.

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Presentation on theme: "CURRENT TRENDS IN THE COLLECTION AND USE OF STATISTICS IN AFRICAN LIBRARIES Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware University of Namibia."— Presentation transcript:

1 CURRENT TRENDS IN THE COLLECTION AND USE OF STATISTICS IN AFRICAN LIBRARIES Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware University of Namibia

2 CONTENTS Historical note – academic and public libraries Background to survey Part A: Library statistics collection Part B: Main types of statistics collected by most libraries Part C: Methods for collection of library statistics Conclusion 2

3 Historical note – academic libraries The International African Institute (1997) published three volumes on: University Libraries in Africa: a review of their current state and future potential. The volumes are made up of case studies which include a range of statistical data detailing: Library collection sizes Library staff Expenditure interlibrary loans Donor support Library use 3

4 Historical note – academic libraries The International Network for Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) organized and funded a Workshop on the Collection and Use of Library Statistics in University Libraries which took place in Zimbabwe in An Annual Statistical Return was drafted and three libraries took part in a pilot collection project. Statistical data from these libraries was published in a volume entitled Annual Library Statistics 1997/98, available from INASP 4

5 Historical note – academic libraries The Association of African Universities (AAU) based in Ghana promised to continue the work of INASP, but ever since 1999, no other work has emerged from this initiative. 5

6 Historical note – academic libraries A number of African libraries are featured in the Global Library Statistics compiled by IFLA using data from UNESCO and Libecon. The Global library Statistics covered areas of: Library servicing the public Library collections New media Usage and users Library staffing Library expenditure 6

7 Historical note – academic libraries INASP has been involved in the provision of electronic services in various countries in Africa. As result of these initiatives many African university libraries have access to various electronic databases. INASP has initiated the monitoring and evaluation of the use of electronic databases (e-journals) in African university libraries. There is a book of case studies on monitoring and evaluation of electronic resources due for publication later this year. 7

8 Historical note – academic libraries Many university libraries in Africa however do not have software to monitor usage and rely on data collected through the following techniques: Suppliers data: usage statistics of electronic resources subscribed through PERI programme is provided by suppliers. Library user statistics: usage data is collected from e-resource service points within the library. Users are required to register and indicate which e-resources they intend to use. Information collected includes name, status, year of study, faculty/department, title of e-resource, etc. User queries: librarians monitor and analyze requests and questions from users on specific e-resources. User surveys: UDSM Library conducts periodic user surveys to gather key information about resources and services. 8

9 Historical note – public libraries South Africa - efforts to standardize the collection of statistics in public libraries. Funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York Working Group on Public Library Statistics (WGPLS) to facilitate the drafting of a simple form for regular collection of statistics from public libraries so that three databases could be kept up to date ( 1. a library directory containing identification and descriptive data about libraries), 2. a demographic database containing relevant demographic information and 3. A geographic database containing geographical information such as municipal boundaries and location data for the libraries ) 9

10 Background to survey 10

11 The objective of collecting library statistics is "to assess the quality and effectiveness of services [and resources] provided by the library" (Poll, 2001,p.307). Collecting library statistics 11

12 Importance of collecting statistics The collection of library statistics provides an essential foundation for quality library services is a powerful management tool assisting libraries in establishing good practice, decision-making and user support can be used for securing and allocating funding reflects use patterns influencing collection development 12

13 Importance of collecting statistics Usage statistics can be used to develop performance indicators for outcomes assessment. Annual (national/international) statistical reports allow a library to compare itself to peer libraries, past experience and desirable goals. It allows for self-assessment, benchmarking and improvement of library services. 13

14 Challenges re library statistics Manual collection of statistics is time-consuming Staff lack knowledge and skills in regard to the collecting, analysing and reporting of library statistics Management lack knowledge and skills to integrate statistics into library decision-making 14

15 Purpose of survey Commissioned by the IFLA Section on Statistics and Evaluation Aims to establish current trends in the collection and use of library statistics in African libraries 15

16 Research methodology Data collection took place during July 2008 Target audience: Academic, national and public libraries throughout Africa A descriptive research approach was applied to data collection A self-administered questionnaire was ed to the target group SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was used to analyse the data 16

17 Response rate 132 questionnaires were ed 28 s were undeliverable 16 completed questionnaires were returned by 4 August 2008 Response rate: 15.4% 17

18 Respondents NUMBER OF LIBRARIES PARTICIPATING IN THIS SURVEY Country Academic libraries National libraries Public libraries Egypt 1 Ghana 1 Namibia 21 Nigeria 1 South Africa 72 Tanzania 1 TOTAL 13 (81% of all respondents) 12 18

19 PART A Library statistics collection 19

20 Reasons for collecting library statistics Reason Percentage (%) To monitor performance 92.3% To assist in policy formation 76.9% To market library services 53.8% To help in obtaining more funding 69.2% To analyse and predict trends 76.9% To assist in management and decision-making processes 84.6% Other: increasing readership, annual reports of the organisation, quality control (benchmarking), monitoring turn-away stats for databases, which influences decisions to increase user licences. 30.8% 20

21 PART B Main types of statistics collected by most libraries 21

22 Types of library statistics collected A wide variety of statistics were collected, as well as a wide range in the frequency of collection The main types of statistics collected by most libraries: Number of loans: 85.7% Library acquisitions: 85.7% Library materials processing (i.e. cataloguing and classification): 78.6% Use of electronic databases: 71.4% Number of library staff: 71.4% Library expenditure: 71.4% 22

23 Other statistics also collected 23 TypeFrequency Number of e-resources in the library57.1% Number of downloads per person42.9% Number of library visitors64.3% Weekly opening hours35.7% Number of reference questions64.3% Registered number of library users57.1% Size of library collections64.3% Size of library budget64.3% Library use training64.3% Library seating capacity50% Library shelving35.7% Events in the library42.9% Other: number of pages updated on the librarys website, number of hits per page on the librarys website, ETDs added to the information resources, ILL fill rates, gate counts, use of the Internet Café, use of periodicals, in-house use of information resources. 23.1%

24 Compilation of statistical reports 24

25 Publication of library statistics Annual, quarterly and monthly reports Brochures Departmental/Faculty/University Senate reports HEQC evaluation reports Library Directors/Library Committee reports Newsletters Plasma screens Research and self-evaluation reports Library website and Intranet 25

26 PART C Methods used for collection of library statistics 26

27 Statistics collection: Library sections Responsibility Percentage (%) Each section or department responsible for own statistics 92.9% IT section35.7% Management50% Other: person/s responsible for management information and quality assurance 7.1% 27

28 Statistics collection: Whole library Responsibility Percentage (%) Each section or department responsible for own statistics 57.1% IT section14.3% Management71.4% Other: person/s responsible for management information and quality assurance 7.1% 28

29 Manual and/or electronic collection 29

30 Usually done on a daily basis by physically counting items/users. These statistics are then forwarded to the person responsible for the Library Management Information System. Manual collection 30

31 Electronic statistics: Examples of software ADLIB (e.g. Number of loans) Aleph (e.g. Size of collection) CDS ISIS (e.g. Electronic databases) DoNet (e.g. Reference queries) ePrints (e.g. Institutional repositories) Excel (e.g. User training) Innopac report Module (e.g. Cataloguing and classification) ITS (e.g. Number of library users) Millennium (e.g. E-resources) OCLC (e.g. Cataloguing and classification) Oracle (e.g. Number of library staff) PALS (e.g. Number of loans) Prolib (e.g. Cataloguing and classification) PROMIS (e.g. Library budget) QuestionPoint (e.g. Reference queries) 3M (e.g. Gate counts) 31

32 Conclusion 32

33 Positive aspects of this survey It reflects the extent of library services in those African libraries participating in this survey. It provides a current picture of African libraries with regard to the trends in collection and use of statistics. It is an important tool for addressing weaknesses in African library and information services. 33

34 Areas for improvement There is no agreement on the type of library statistics to be collected. There is no consensus on how data must be collected, analysed, presented and applied. There is a wide gap in the type and frequency of statistics collected between technologically advanced libraries and those less fortunate. There is no national or African database of comparative library statistics available. 34

35 ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS? Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware


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