Desk Tracker Categories for Scholarly Communications Office

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:


  • Audio
  • Classroom use
  • Continuing education
  • Copyright infringement
  • Copyright registration
  • Digitization
  • Fair use
  • General copyright question
  • Images
  • Licensing
  • Linking or Embedding
  • MOOC/Non-Sakai/UNC Educational Services
  • Permissions
  • Policy/compliance information
  • Publicity
  • Scholarly publishing
  • Trademark
  • Video
  • Other


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.

About Anne Gilliland

Anne T. Gilliland is the libraries’ Scholarly Communications Officer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  She has a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Tennessee and a J.D. from Capital University.  She is licensed to practice law in Ohio but is on inactive status.

Anne has worked in academic libraries and related organizations since the 1970s, including 15 years at the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK), a virtual academic library program of the Ohio State Board of Regents.  In lieu of a more conventional mid-life crisis, Anne entered law school part-time at night in 2004.  She took a position as the Head of the Health Sciences Copyright Management Office at the Ohio State University in 2008, shortly before graduation.  She came to UNC in the summer of 2012.

Anne provides copyright consultations and education for the library and for university community as a whole.  In addition, she provides information and education on related areas of law, such as privacy.  Anne also works with library staff on other issues and projects related to new modes of scholarly communication.

About Brett D. Currier

Brett D. Currier is the Scholarly Communications Officer intern at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  He starts his fourth year in a joint Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science and a J.D., both from the University of North Carolina, this August 2014. Brett has been interning in the Scholarly Communications Office since January 2014 and graduates from both programs in May 2015.