Driving Decisions with Data

How can you ensure your library’s goals and initiatives support households in your community? This past July we sat down with Jason Kucsma, deputy director at Toledo Lucas County (Ohio) Public Library and 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker, to provide his thoughts on libraries measuring up. Grab some coffee and listen as Jason discusses … Read more

Bring Out the Vote with New Library Advocacy Tool

Across the nation, libraries receive widespread support from the communities they serve because people understand the value of their local library.  Mostly.  I mean, almost always.  Except for when they don’t….

When your library’s funding is at risk, are you willing to wait idly by and see if people show up at the polls?  Or would you like to actively reach out to your more enthusiastic patrons to inform and encourage them to support their favorite public institution?

Patron Voter Analysis, a new app available in Gale’s unique Analytics On Demand product, gives you the tools you need to identify voter households who use library resources and develop targeted contact lists to inform them about pending election issues related to your library funding or leadership ballot issues.

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Who Are Your Patrons? Where Are They Coming From? And What Branches Do They Visit?  

Public Library Branch Insights and User Visits and Demographics

Patrons at your main branch mostly hail from all over town, but patrons at your eastside branch come from within just a few blocks away. Or do they?? Do you know how far people travel to get to a particular location? And, if you did know, how might it change your collection and outreach programs?

Branch Insights, a new Analytics On Demand app, tracks cardholders’ use across various branches in a single library system. With this information presented in maps and tables, you can gain insight into where and how individual patron types are engaging the library system so you can tailor materials, programs, services, and outreach to meet patron needs at each library site.

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Data-Driven Marketing: Know Your Community

Analytics tool for Public Libraries

By Gerry Sawchuk

It’s impossible to attend a conference or read a library magazine today without hearing about data-driven decision making, big data, and measuring outcomes. Amidst the increasing “noise” around any trending topic, it can be hard to determine what it means for you and what tools are available to help gather and analyze data—here are some details to help you get started.

Do Analytics Really Matter?

“Big data” and “analytics” are buzzwords for good reason. Businesses in other industries have relied heavily on consumer demographics and data analysis for years. Research shows that businesses that leverage data analytics have stronger financial performance, are able to make better decisions more quickly, and are more likely to execute those decisions as intended.

Why does this matter to you? Libraries are not businesses, right? Many libraries are understandably sensitive to being compared to for-profit businesses. Consider for a moment though, that as a library, your products are the content and services you provide, and that your customers are your patrons. Profit aside, libraries have much to gain by leveraging data to retain and grow customers. Quite simply, there is an opportunity to be better positioned to meet the needs of your patrons.

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