ESP by Baker & Taylor- Future-Proofing Libraries With Data

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Consumers these days can do almost anything with a click of a mouse or a tap on a screen. Goods can be bought and delivered within hours. New products can be easily browsed. And online advertising seems to magically target its ideal audience, connecting customers with items matching their needs and wants.

This easy and instant access to goods and information is changing consumer expectations and could threaten our more established institutions, notably libraries. With budget constraints and limited resources, libraries can’t be expected to invest millions in research and development, experiment with unproven gadgets, or compete with the tech giants driving these changes. While technology presents a threat, however, it also offers solutions for ensuring libraries remain relevant and essential parts of our communities. One tool that can help ensure a library’s longevity is what’s known as big data.

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Case Study – Adding Life to Collections With collectionHQ and ESP

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BACKGROUND

Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) offers a decision support system to
help libraries select current and pre-published titles in the right quantities to
the right locations.

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, GA is a 34 branch system serving
a population of more than 1,000,000. Shortly after he was appointed as
Executive Director at the library, Dr Gabriel Morley made the decision to
introduce Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) to support more informed
selection decisions.

THE CHALLENGE

Introduction of the collectionHQ Dashboard in 2014 offered new insight into the library’s
collection that shocked Gabriel and the team. Gabriel explained: “We had been looking at our circulation statistics over a long period of time in order to better understand the needs of our patrons. What we found was disturbing. Almost 53% of our collection was Dead on Arrival, which meant it rarely circulated.” Dead on Arrival (DOA) is a metric that reveals new items added to a library’s collection within the last 6-18 months that have either never circulated or had been checked out only once. This revelation therefore prompted the team to take action.

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Case Study – Cleaning Up Your Collection with collectionHQ

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North Richland Hills Library in Texas is a single branch system with a large team oflibrarians and selectors. It serves a population of more than 63,000 and collectionHQ, the world’s leading collection management tool, was introduced to the library in 2016 to support evidence based collection management.

The Challenge

Prior to the introduction of collectionHQ, weeding processes at the library had been sporadic with no regular workflow for removal of dead or grubby items. Karen Raborn, Collection Manager at the library shared: “Weeding often happened in spurts. People would be busy with other priorities then there would be a big weeding push. Each department handled weeding differently with different timelines, so it got to the point where our Director recognized the need for a unified approach to collection management and deselection.”

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