Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PL 1/14: My year in statistics

Filed under: statistics — plinius @ 12:57 pm

IFLA meets in August.

There are not too many of us. Statistics and evaluation is a special interest within a small profession. Librarians may protest, since they encounter colleagues all the time. There seems to be lots of librarians around.

But that is due to the herd instinct. Birds of a feather flock together.

A small profession

The profession is a smallish one. In rich countries with comprehensive library systems library staff constitute less than 0.3% of all employees. In the United States, ALA reports that there 166 thousand librarians and 201 thousand other staff. Total civilian employment is about 156 million. One in thousand is a librarian, then, while one in every four hundred work in a library.

Autumn 2013

  • For Singapore 2013 I wrote a paper on statistical standards and also had a poster stand (on traffic observation) together with Bozena, my wife (August)
  • One day workshop on user studies, organized by Telemark County Library (September).
  • Co-authored brief paper, on traffic observation at Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius, for AACE eLearn conference in Las Vegas, October 21-23 (but stayed at home).
  • (With Elisha Chiware) Developed SAFARI project proposal, on statistics training for libraries in Africa, and applied for IFLA grant (not supported). We will try again.

Spring 2014

  • Start with statistics. One day workshop for librarians organized by Hordaland County Library. This is the Norwegian version of the BSLA course (January)
  • Chaired seminar on traffic studies with four contributors at Norwegian Library Association bi-annual meeting in Trondheim (March)
  • Developed teaching module on (general) statistics and graphs for the LATINA Open Online Course (April)
  • Completed overview article on traffic studies for Journal of Library Administration (July)
  • At this year’s WLIC meeting in Lyon I am presenting some ideas on community-based statistics (August)








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