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Circulate Those Web Management Reports. Ben Kline Project Supervisor Circulation Services University Libraries University of Cincinnati. Circulate Those Web Management Reports. The Idea: A circulation department is more than just its terminal activity and items circulated.
University of Cincinnati
A circulation department is more than just its terminal activity and items circulated.
But how to measure this? How to coordinate all available data into a coherent, accurate body of information?
We started with several articles and one book in particular.
Assessing Service Quality : Satisfying the Expectations of Library Customers by Hernon and Altman.
However, we realized we were overcomplicating for our needs. We had a huge storehouse of data in Millennium, but we were missing questions and actions taken at service points, such as requests relating to functions and responsibilities the department has in the building.
This returned us to the ARL Statistics criteria.
This is a sample form used at University Libraries to collect reference and directional data for ARL during a fall study period each year. From this we conceived our form.
After our research returned us to the ARL annual statistics as a starting point, we created our form for capturing data at the service points – both at our Circulation desk and our main phone line.
We started with the basics: directional and reference. Then staff members made quick lists of top questions they’re asked or tasks they complete at the service point, particularly ones not captured via Millennium.
We had 2 initial test usage periods in June and July of 2005. Concerns about recording the data while at the service points were eased. We made refinements to the form for more specific, localized data capture, as well as for clarity in recording.
The information we learned became even more useful when we compared it to the data generated in circulation-specific statistical reports available in the Millennium Web Management Reports module.
Web Management Reports
We wanted to compare the data we collected at the service point to the data captured via Millennium.
We decided to do some on a monthly basis, as daily or weekly could prove too time intensive and might cause us to miss seasonal trends.
The next step then was to generate the actual web management reports for circulation. We used several different set ups in order to look at the data from a few angles.
Step 1: Generate the basic reports relating to Circulation and Terminal Activity.
When choosing only one location, as we do for Langsam in Circulation Services at UC, you have to choose your branch location.
The reports generates circulation data for the previous month, as well as comparing it to the same month a year ago and the preceding month.
Step 3: Generate reports on hourly item circulation from the local collection.
Beware, this function defaults to the oldest month archived. You have to click Recalculate to change the month.
Then, use the arrow button to scroll through the stat groups to find the terminal group number for the study location.
Next, generate the hourly Patron transactions for the same time frame and location.
The resulting chart will actual call them Borrower Activity.
Go through the same steps for isolating the necessary stat group.
What we do with the data…
First, the data from the daily work measurement sheets is compiled on a single spreadsheet for the month.
Of special note are the patron totals for each day, phone questions taken for each week, and the three busiest hours of each day based solely on questions answered and/or tasks undertaken at the service points.
Then, we combine the data from the monthly work measurement form with the data extrapolated from the web management reports to provide ourselves with a snapshot of a month’s work activity.
This is called our Circulation at a Glance (monthly report)
This report intertwines the following data:
circulation desk questions
Analysis and actions (Examples)
We examine the activity numbers alongside days of the week and attendance numbers (captured by an exit gate counter.) This revealed evidence affirming long-held theories, such as Monday being the busiest day in everyway.
But it also revealed evidence refuting some theories. For example, we used to think we received the most interest/activity about community member (non-affiliated) borrowing privileges on the weekends. However, this turned out to be false. Most of the activity occurs during the weekday afternoons.
Analysis and actions (Examples)
Busiest hours – staffing needs
Example: The busiest checkout hours do not always mirror the busiest hours for questions/patron assistance. So the traditional ideas of having extra staff during heavy checkout times needed rethinking.
Types of questions – new resources
Example: new questions lead to updates to Services Around Campus information
At this point, it’s worth noting a few things:
The forms are malleable. We’ve altered the columns on the Work Measurement Form a few times to adapt to shifting trends. We’ve also revised the Circulation at a Glance reporting to reflect both curiosities and to bring more focus onto certain topics, such as Self Checkout.
Developing the work measurement and web management together also introduced us to some other Circulation uses for the Web Management Reports.
Other uses for the reports:
This application of the module has proven particularly useful.
The report is generated in the Circulation Crosstab function
Stat Type is Checkout.
Date Range is TBD specific to your inquire period.
Limit is System
Rows are Call Numbers
Columns are Locations.
The results spreadsheet is then narrowed down to our considered locations and provides us a tally of items circulated in particular call number area. The areas with the highest activity are then the focus of more intensive shelf reading by student assistants.
You can obtained detail lending/borrowing info for INN-Reach activity by using the cross tab and downloading the results to Excel.