Statistics to show our worth are both a boon and a bane. We create categories and log interlibrary loan, circulation, and reference statistics. Libraries try to measure and count anything in order to demonstrate our value to our communities. However, trying to track statistics can be difficult in departments with less directly measureable interactions. We used the categories, with some modifications that are detailed in an article titled “Copyright Information Queries in the Health Sciences: Trends and Implications from the Ohio State University” that Anne Gilliland wrote with her colleague Pamela Bradigan. At the University of North Carolina, in our libraries, we use Desk Tracker and have created the following categories to determine how to measure queries in the Scholarly Communications Office:
- Classroom use
- Continuing education
- Copyright infringement
- Copyright registration
- Fair use
- General copyright question
- Linking or Embedding
- MOOC/Non-Sakai/UNC Educational Services
- Policy/compliance information
- Scholarly publishing
In Desk Tracker, these categories are all check boxes, so multiple categories of questions can be selected, in case one interaction has multiple questions or subjects. Often, the patron asks a single question whose answer blends into other categories, this is an opportunity for us in the Scholarly Communications Office to educate and explain related concepts..
We will review these categories later and evaluate how and whether they worked for us. We will revise the categories as necessary. For example, we added “Digitization” because it is a different kind of category then the other items that show up on this list. Stay tuned as we review the categories in a few months and determine what did or did not work for us.