Most librarian bloggers know that one of the really cool things about the biblioblogosphere is that blogging fosters collaboration and sharing. As an example, I saw what Sherri did with IM at UNLV, and I adapted what she had done to our needs at Ohio University. I contacted her over email and IM, and we had some pretty good discussions of the potential of IM reference. The result of that sharing is that now we have a very successful IM reference service (more on that in a future post, I promise). I didn’t have to wait six months for Sherri to publish an article on the topic. She was nice enough to post something on her blog about UNLV’s IM service so that others might immediately benefit from her library’s experiences. My library, and many others, have benefited from this sharing.
Another case-in-point is Scott Pfitzinger’s most recent post about Reference Statistics. Scott writes:
I used MS Excel and made a front page with buttons, each button assigned to a macro that took a timestamp and added 1 to the column for the appropriate type of transaction. Iâ€™m pleased to say that itâ€™s working well, everyone has gotten used to it, and it makes reporting a SNAP! If you have it generating totals or averages for you, you can set up automatic charts and tables. That works great in Excel! Or if you need data from a particular week, you can just highlight the data and look at the â€œSumâ€ function that displays in the bottom right of your screen to get your count.
In case you didn’t understand all that, basically it means that you can really collect stats and generate some pretty mean reports. I’ve seen this Excel file that Scott is describing, and it really is cool. Scott sent me the file over the summer, although it was a little late for us to implement this technology in time for fall quarter. However, I did show it to my colleagues, and they were amazed at its potential uses. It got us all thinking about how we can better collect reference statistics.
Scott invites his readers:
Anyone who has questions about how to set up something like this or who wants to look at an example is welcome to email me. I can talk to you about it and/or send you an Excel file so you can see how it works.
I strongly encourage you to take him up on his offer, or at least stop by his blog and thank him for sharing.
Thanks to Scott, Sherri, and others for sharing with all of us.