I have been a member of the Statistics and Evaluation Section since 2007. Or rather – to be precise – of its Standing Committee.
- All IFLA Members are entitled to register for Sections of their choice.
- Once registered, voting Members have the right to nominate specialists for the Standing Committee of the Sections for which they are registered.
- The Standing Committee is the key group of professionals who develop and monitor the programme of the Section.
Each Standing Committees has two elected officers, the Chair and the Secretary. They serve for two years at a time. Most sections also choose an information officer.
Currently, Ulla Wimmer (Germany) is the Chair and Markku Laitinen (Finland) is our Information Officer. I serve as Secretary and Treasurer. We were elected in 2011. This means that the section has to elect new officers for 2013-15 in Singapore.
I have been asked whether I would like to stand for a second period. I have decided to do so. But why ask for support? As a candidate I ought to present a program. The Committee should be able to judge what they get (or may avoid …).
My “election platform” might look as follows:
The Standing Committee’s work on global statistical standards and on training has been very interesting and I would be happy to continue as secretary for another two years.
Statistics for Advocacy
International interest in practical use of library statistics is increasing. The Statistics for Advocacy training has been well received in Norway (seven workshops so far) and has also had some international impact (Olsztyn 2011, Kampala 2012, Brasov 2013). Related statistical workshops have been held in Cape Town (IATUL, April 2013) and Vilnius (Mykolas Romeris University Library, May 2013). The training materials, which are located on the Practical statistics web site, have been expanded and updated. I would like to continue developing this resource. The next step (2014-15) would involve an increased use of visual resources (photos, diagrams) as well as the production of brief teaching videos. Such videos can be used as part of regular workshops as well as for distance learning (MOOCs).
I retired from my position as a library teacher in 2012. I now work as a senior consultant to the LATINA Laboratory, mostly on a volunteer basis. LATINA is a small R&D unit attached to the Learning Centre & Library of the Oslo and Akershus University College of the Applied Sciences. LATINA specializes in the development of practical e-learning strategies in higher education – with libraries as partners. My statistical work, including the SFA workshops, are included in the LATINA work plan.
Track The Traffic
In addition to SFA, which is aimed at basic training and awareness, I would like to promote standardized observation studies of user behavior as a tool for libraries that want new and interesting statistical data for planning, management and advocacy. The instrument is called Track The Traffic (TTT). Close to a hundred traffic studies have been done in Norway since 2005, but only a handful in other countries: one each in Sweden, Great Britain, United States, Uganda and Lithuania. In Romania there is also active interest in this field.
Statistics for Advocacy and Track The Traffic represent two important areas of development. A third area, of more general interest, is the whole question of statistical standards. I am a strong believer in statistical concepts, indicators and procedures that are based on experience, that are empirically tested and that are developed and modified through open professional discussions. IFLA has now established its own standards committee. This improves the conditions for professional work on library standards in an open environment. Here, I hope the Statistics and Evaluation can play a leading role.