Sunday, July 17, 2005

Reference Desk statistics, Logging

Don't take reference desk statistics too seriously. It's not like anyone ever looks at those tally sheets anyway.

Recording tick marks and classifying them as "Reference Transactions," "Directional Questions," or "Phone Calls" is a pitiful way to justify our self-worth as professionals. Sure, an administrator may occasionally make a staffing decision using this data, but when was the last time an administrator came to you and said, "You know... I was just looking at the reference desk statistics, and I think we should add another reference librarian to help you out during your busy Thursday evening shift"?

Ticked off with tick marks? Librarians should take a principled stand and ignore the useless act all together.


Sara Marks said...

Well... there are those pesky and useless annual reports that must be made available for the public to read via our webpages.

miriam sawyer said...

When I was busy, I didn't have time to tick them off. When the pandemonium calmed down, I didn't remember.

Unfoirtunately, we had to put a figure in the NJ annual report to get state aid. So we counted them twice a year, and averaaged them out.

Anonymous said...

So much of my institution depends on creating an idealized image of itself, and promoting that image to potential custom- er, students, and Daddy Warbu - er, funders, that I feel it is only appropriate to participate in this project of institutional improvement, and count the statistics that should be, rather than the ones that are.

I figure Twain would see what I do as an improvement of what I'm asked to do.