Analytics and Measurement

Affinity strings, personalization and recommendation

I heard about ‘affinity strings’ on a visit to Minnesota some time ago. I was pleased to see that they have written up what they are doing in the recent issue of The Code4Lib Journal: The University of Minnesota Libraries have created a MyLibrary portal, with databases and e-journals targeted to users, based on their … Continue reading Affinity strings, personalization and recommendation

Museum studies

The UK academic world was in a frenzy yesterday as the results of the Research Assessment Exercise were published. In this process, the work of academic departments is graded on a scale from 4* (‘world leading’) down. It is important for both reputation and revenue, as the results are keenly observed and are used to … Continue reading Museum studies


I have mentioned SEO (Search Engine Optimization) a few times as an increasingly important area of interest for librarians. However, as I have suggested, I come across resistance on the grounds that this is some sort of base or mendacious activity. We are very interested in interoperability, however, and for this reason it may be … Continue reading SEO

Library value

We are seeing more interest in demonstrating value. Here are two rather different items on this topic. The first is an article on ROI in the current LIBER Quarterly by Paula Kaufman, Dean of Libraries at UIUC. University administrators are asking library directors to demonstrate their library’s value to the institution in easily articulated quantitative … Continue reading Library value

User behaviors

My colleague Lynn Connaway has been working on several collaborative projects looking at user behaviors over the last few years. Together, she and colleagues have produced a nice body of work looking at user attitudes and behaviors to library services, and to information work more generally. I thought it would be useful to pull together … Continue reading User behaviors

Web 2.0 again

I have just got around to looking at Programming Collective Intelligence [O’Reilly][Worldcat] by Toby Segaran. This fascinating book demonstrates how you can build web applications to mine the enormous amount of data created by people on the Internet. With the sophisticated algorithms in this book, you can write smart programs to access interesting datasets from … Continue reading Web 2.0 again

Who’s on Twitter

Interesting story on from the Hitwise folks about Twitter demographics. I figured that the service would appeal exclusively to youngsters with nothing better to do. The user data, however, tell me I’m wrong, and reveal a very specific user profile: for example, males make up 63% of Twitterers, specifically males from California, whose residents … Continue reading Who’s on Twitter

Metrics and visibility

I was interested to come across the Service Level Definitions page at the Library at the London School of Economics. Additionally, we have a number of Service Targets which we monitor on a monthly or termly basis. You can see our general service standards and the full results for our service targets for the academic … Continue reading Metrics and visibility

Library analytics

The indefatigable Tony Hirst has an interesting post about using Google Analytics to analyse library website traffic. He looks at the Open University Library website. This is in preparation for a fuller paper he is preparing with Hassan Sheikh of the Library for Internet Librarian International 2008. Something to look forward to …. Here is … Continue reading Library analytics