Friday, May 14, 2010

Stats, Increasing

One measure of a library's effectiveness is its reference desk statistics.  Librarians can increase their stats at the reference desk by:
  • replacing the desk's "Information" sign with one that reads, "Free Office Supplies!!!"
  • hiring hotter reference librarians
  • making the library impossible for lay people to use
  • firing all the instruction librarians
  • consistently inflating the numbers to make yourself appear more valuable
Ask the readers: How do you increase reference desk statistics @ your library?

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hide all the "Bathroom" and "Elevator" directional signs.

archiver said...

Absolutely everyone gets counted, no one escapes, including babies, guide dogs and bored wives who stick their head around the door once.

Amy L. Campbell said...

No one reads the directional signs anyway. Maybe create a confusing room number scheme. That seemed to work at the library I worked as a graduate student.

Anonymous said...

A candy bowl helps.

Miss E said...

Ooh! Ooh! Jam the printers and turn off the wireless, and you're GUARANTEED to see a spike in traffic.

Anonymous said...

Spend all of the time that you are NOT on the reference desk thinking up creative comments for your colleagues!

loudlibrarian said...

Remove all the call numbers from your Wicca collection.

Monster Librarian said...

Cleavage.

Anonymous said...

Have an ant farm at the reference desk (sealed of course). It really pulls over the "you've got to be kidding" crowd.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Put all the reference books that normal human beings know about behind the enquiry desk; the newspapers in the room behind the enquiry desk and the reference librarian in the room behind the room behind the enquiry desk.

Anonymous said...

hide all the staplers.

Princess said...

you totally have to count the pregnant ladies who come into storytime. 1 Adult, 2 kids(if she only has one by the hand). Baby in the belly totally counts :)

Anonymous said...

Have your reference space designed by a non-librarian and share it with a large comuter lab run by another department. Put your ref desk in the middle of this large space with 3 other help desks managed by IT but have the ref desk closest to the printers and the printing help desk in the far corner. Have the ref staff hand out limited use computer passes but be unable to help anyone with a computer issue. Have a sign over the IT help desk that says 'Help Desk' but does not specify that it is the IT help desk. Enjoy.

Anonymous said...

A seldom used trick is to actually staff the desk with competent reference librarians. Yes, this excludes most catalogers and aged library techs and clerks. At one library that shall remain unnamed, I once found the answer to my question in a book that was on the reference desk whilst the purported librarian was off somewhere seeking an answer to my question.

Anonymous said...

Situate your reference desk near the public computers. As in, NEXT to them.

Anonymous said...

We pretend not to hear very well, which means we get to count every question at least twice.

finally_a_librarian said...

Put "out of order" signs on the bathrooms. When the patrons leave to use the facilities in the fast food joint next door then return, count them twice.

Mike S. said...

I think "cleavage" still would work best.

shushie said...

Install a fax machine and color copier. We should probably give away nice stationary to go into the printers too.

Melissa said...

"A seldom used trick is to actually staff the desk with competent reference librarians. Yes, this excludes most catalogers and aged library techs and clerks."

As a cataloger myself - awww. That hurt my feelings. ::sniffle::

Although there are questions where I do wish I could switch places with a reference librarian at the snap of my fingers. And, no, I'm not talking about every question that's not "where the stapler/bathroom/paper clips/etc." - there are a few questions I can handle as competently as any reference librarian. Heck, if I cataloged the Answer the previous day (which has happened on occasion), I might actually do a better job. So, don't totally dismiss catalogers at the reference desk.

To add to the list of ways to increase our stats: it wouldn't be pleasant, but if there was a button at the ref desk that caused every computer to malfunction after a student had been using a MS Office product for at least 10 minutes, I think that would do it.

Jenny said...

These are too funny! I keep the stats for our library and it's crazy the things they have us count. We finally stopped counting the number of kleenexes we passed out! I agree with the idea of showing more cleavage. This would absolutely increase numbers.

The Scrivener Collider said...

Improperly train the n00b so she counts goddamn every question, registration, and sign-up as a reference question. For two years. Don't question the reference spikes on the days she works.

Anonymous said...

To decrease just have the reference librarian keep turning the computer screen around and saying to patron and you can find it if you just click here.....showing how to use said libraries catalog. Evidently not wanting to actually do or count anything at all that day!