Monday, October 09, 2006

Our Stats are on the Rise!

I've been meaning to write this post for a while but have been putting it off. However, an article in the Chronicle that details reasons why professors may not include a library research session in their class has spurred me on.

At my place of work, we have seen an increase in many types of usage this Fall. Examples include:
  • In about 5 week's time, we have done more one-shot instruction sessions than we did all of last year.
  • Our database usage stats are way up, probably a result of more instruction sessions.
  • ILL borrowing is up. This September saw more than twice as many ILL requests as last September.
Possible reasons for the increase, many of which were Andrew's ideas:
  • Presentation to the faculty. Andrew and I were given the opportunity to present an update session at Fall Faculty Conference. The session was given twice and we had a large percentage of the faculty in attendance. A lot of changes took place over the summer, and the faculty were impressed with both the changes and our succinct presentation of them.
  • Faculty guides to library resources. Last Fall each faculty member received an individualized print guide to the library resources useful in their discipline. Many of these were presented in person.
  • Freebies. Every year, we have pens made with our URL on them that we give out during the First Year Seminar library visits. This year, we added our IM name. These pens were also given to all the faculty, along with pads of sticky notes with OhioLINK's info on them.
  • Revamping instruction sessions. We now use problem-based learning in our instruction sessions. We create a problem tailored to the class or assignment, have the students research it while we walk around to observe and help, and then go over everything.
  • Odyssey. ILL use is probably up because we are promoting it more and we now use Odyssey to receive many of the requested articles much more quickly.
It's an exciting time here, and I hope we continue to see increases in usage!

[As an aside, I don't really agree with the paragraph in the article that poses "simple questions" that students don't know the answers to. I don't really think they need to know the answers to those, except for popular vs scholarly. They need to know that they can't look up journal article titles in the catalog, but they don't really need to know why, unless that's going to help them remember that they can't do it.]

No comments: