Current trends in the collection and use of statistics in african libraries
1 / 35


  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

CURRENT TRENDS IN THE COLLECTION AND USE OF STATISTICS IN AFRICAN LIBRARIES. Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware University of Namibia. CONTENTS. Historical note – academic and public libraries Background to survey Part A: Library statistics collection

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware

University of Namibia


  • Historical note – academic and public libraries

  • Background to survey

  • Part A: Library statistics collection

  • Part B: Main types of statistics collected by most libraries

  • Part C: Methods for collection of library statistics

  • Conclusion

Historical note – academic libraries

  • The International African Institute (1997) published three volumes on:

    • University Libraries in Africa: a review of their current state and future potential. The volumes are made up of case studies which include a range of statistical data detailing:

      • Library collection sizes

      • Library staff

      • Expenditure

      • interlibrary loans

      • Donor support

      • Library use

Historical note – academic libraries

  • The International Network for Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) organized and funded a Workshop on the Collection and Use of Library Statistics in University Libraries which took place in Zimbabwe in 1997.

  • An Annual Statistical Return was drafted and three libraries took part in a pilot collection project.

  • Statistical data from these libraries was published in a volume entitled Annual Library Statistics 1997/98, available from INASP

Historical note – academic libraries

  • The Association of African Universities (AAU) based in Ghana promised to continue the work of INASP, but ever since 1999, no other work has emerged from this initiative.

Historical note – academic libraries

  • A number of African libraries are featured in the Global Library Statistics 1990-2000 compiled by IFLA using data from UNESCO and Libecon. The Global library Statistics covered areas of:

    • Library servicing the public

    • Library collections

    • New media

    • Usage and users

    • Library staffing

    • Library expenditure

Historical note – academic libraries

  • INASP has been involved in the provision of electronic services in various countries in Africa.

  • As result of these initiatives many African university libraries have access to various electronic databases.

  • INASP has initiated the monitoring and evaluation of the use of electronic databases (e-journals) in African university libraries.

  • There is a book of case studies on monitoring and evaluation of electronic resources due for publication later this year.

Historical note – academic libraries

  • Many university libraries in Africa however do not have software to monitor usage and rely on data collected through the following techniques:

    • •  Suppliers’ data: usage statistics of electronic resources subscribed through PERI programme is provided by suppliers.

    • •  Library user statistics: usage data is collected from e-resource service points within the library. Users are required to register and indicate which e-resources they intend to use. Information collected includes name, status, year of study, faculty/department, title of e-resource, etc.

    • •  User queries: librarians monitor and analyze requests and questions from users on specific e-resources.

    • •  User surveys: UDSM Library conducts periodic user surveys to gather key information about resources and services.

Historical note – public libraries

  • South Africa - efforts to standardize the collection of statistics in public libraries.

    • Funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York

      • Working Group on Public Library Statistics (WGPLS)

        • to facilitate the drafting of a simple form for regular collection of statistics from public libraries so that three databases could be kept up to date

        • ( 1. a library directory containing identification and descriptive data about libraries),

        • 2. a demographic database containing relevant demographic information and

        • 3. A geographic database containing geographical information such as municipal boundaries and location data for the libraries )

Background to survey

Collecting library statistics

The objective of collecting library statistics is "to assess the quality and effectiveness of services [and resources] provided by the library" (Poll, 2001,p.307).

Importance of collecting statistics

The collection of library statistics

  • provides an essential foundation for quality library services

  • is a powerful management tool assisting libraries in establishing good practice, decision-making and user support

  • can be used for securing and allocating funding

  • reflects use patterns influencing collection development

Importance of collecting statistics

  • Usage statistics can be used to develop performance indicators for outcomes assessment.

  • Annual (national/international) statistical reports allow a library to compare itself to peer libraries, past experience and desirable goals.

  • It allows for self-assessment, benchmarking and improvement of library services.

Challenges re library statistics

  • Manual collection of statistics is time-consuming

  • Staff lack knowledge and skills in regard to the collecting, analysing and reporting of library statistics

  • Management lack knowledge and skills to integrate statistics into library decision-making

Purpose of survey

  • Commissioned by the IFLA Section on Statistics and Evaluation

  • Aims to establish current trends in the collection and use of library statistics in African libraries

Research methodology

  • Data collection took place during July 2008

  • Target audience: Academic, national and public libraries throughout Africa

  • A descriptive research approach was applied to data collection

  • A self-administered questionnaire was emailed to the target group

  • SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) was used to analyse the data

Response rate

  • 132 questionnaires were emailed

  • 28 emails were undeliverable

  • 16 completed questionnaires were returned by 4 August 2008

  • Response rate: 15.4%


Library statistics collection


Reasons for collecting library statistics

Main types of statistics collected by most libraries


Types of library statistics collected

  • A wide variety of statistics were collected , as well as a wide range in the frequency of collection

    The main types of statistics collected by most libraries:

  • Number of loans: 85.7%

  • Library acquisitions: 85.7%

  • Library materials processing (i.e. cataloguing and classification): 78.6%

  • Use of electronic databases: 71.4%

  • Number of library staff: 71.4%

  • Library expenditure: 71.4%

Other statistics also collected

Compilation of statistical reports

Publication of library statistics

  • Annual, quarterly and monthly reports

  • Brochures

  • Departmental/Faculty/University Senate reports

  • HEQC evaluation reports

  • Library Director’s/Library Committee reports

  • Newsletters

  • Plasma screens

  • Research and self-evaluation reports

  • Library website and Intranet

Methods used for collection of library statistics


Statistics collection: Library sections

Statistics collection: Whole library

Manual and/or electronic collection

Manual collection

Usually done on a daily basis by physically counting items/users. These statistics are then forwarded to the person responsible for the Library Management Information System.

Electronic statistics: Examples of software

  • ADLIB (e.g. Number of loans)

  • Aleph (e.g. Size of collection)

  • CDS ISIS (e.g. Electronic databases)

  • DoNet (e.g. Reference queries)

  • ePrints (e.g. Institutional repositories)

  • Excel (e.g. User training)

  • Innopac report Module (e.g. Cataloguing and classification)

  • ITS (e.g. Number of library users)

  • Millennium (e.g. E-resources)

  • OCLC (e.g. Cataloguing and classification)

  • Oracle (e.g. Number of library staff)

  • PALS (e.g. Number of loans)

  • Prolib (e.g. Cataloguing and classification)

  • PROMIS (e.g. Library budget)

  • QuestionPoint (e.g. Reference queries)

  • 3M (e.g. Gate counts)


Positive aspects of this survey

  • It reflects the extent of library services in those African libraries participating in this survey.

  • It provides a current picture of African libraries with regard to the trends in collection and use of statistics.

  • It is an important tool for addressing weaknesses in African library and information services.

Areas for improvement

  • There is no agreement on the type of library statistics to be collected.

  • There is no consensus on how data must be collected, analysed, presented and applied.

  • There is a wide gap in the type and frequency of statistics collected between technologically advanced libraries and those less fortunate.

  • There is no national or African database of comparative library statistics available.


Dr. Elisha R.T. Chiware

  • Login