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Library Value Toolkit: Usage Stats

Task Force Recommendations

"Image courtesy of [Master isolated images] /".

What do we think you should keep in mind?


Recommendation 1:
Usage statistics provide libraries with important cost-per-use information that can be used in budgeting and planning. Little (2013)

Recommendation 2:
Don't report data in a vacuum. Provide meaningful highlights that imply there is library staff mediated service behind the numbers:
titles of courses taught, top 10 journals accessed, etc.

Recommendation 3:
Use descriptive indicator names. Instead of # of literature searches use # of literature reviews for staff. Break down by type of review: brief, comprehensive, systematic review, Combine with qualitative survey data when possible. See: Gann, Pratt (2013)

Top Resources: Documents

Top Resources: Links

Image credits

Image courtesy of [Master isolated images] /

What is this?

glossaryThis section offers approaches and standard templates for library stats collection.  This page includes:


What are Usage Stats?

Usage stats are data that can be used for benchmarking for a library or for standardized data collection within a consortuium of libraries, such as the HSICT.

The focus of this page is quantitative data, including measuring the use of online resources, Methods and tools for collecting stats on service and collection use are addressed.


Give Me an Example!

From eVALUEd, EvidencedBased, Brimingham City University, UK

A brief summary of Reason for Using Statistics.

Useful to investigate:

  • Usage Patterns,
  • Tracking Trends and Change.


  • Can be Analysed Quickly,
  • Offer Standardized Collection.


  • Don't evaluate Opinion, Satisfaction,
  • May not be comparable year to year.

Issues to Consider

  • May need technical expertise.
  • Could be dependent on other departments, such as IT

Video Highlight: The Evolution of Usage Statistics

Webinar by Library Journal and Swets, Nov. 27, 2013
1 hour, 4 minutes