Keywords

Library Measures, Library Impact, Library Data Analytics

Description

Thorpe et al. (2016: 373) note that there is a growing trend for academic libraries to adopt measures that demonstrate the value of the library in the context of student success. While it may seem intuitive to librarians that students who engage more with library services and resources learn more, Oakleaf (2017) cautions that providing reliable evidence to support this is not straightforward. Librarians are aware of the numerous activities students engage with in the library, and, according to Soria, Fransen and Nackerud (2013), it is important to examine the differences of each of those interactions in relation to student success. To provide reliable and contemporary evidence of associations of library usage and student success, a multi-phase quantitative student success project was undertaken at a single site library, BM Patel Library, at the start of the first semester of 2017.

The first phase of the project provided a comprehensive view of the use of physical and virtual library services at BM Patel Library by undergraduate Faculty of Management Sciences students. Five service points were identified that provided the data for this study. Statistics were collected from library entrance points, library book loans, computer use, laptop use, and off-campus use. The sample consisted of students enrolled in three departments: Marketing and Retail Management, Public Management and Economics, and Human Resource Management. These departments were selected based on the analysis of library visits of all students who visited the BM Patel Library in the first semester.

According to the ACRL findings on academic library impact on student success, there is compelling evidence that library use and information literacy (IL) attendance increases student success (Burrows 2011). There are limited local studies that attempt to determine the impact of IL training on student success. This could be due to challenges in the collection of relevant data and/or the use of the data to draw correlations to student success reliably. This paper reports on the second phase of the project, which goes beyond the data from service points and incorporates data from three additional sources: IL attendance, IL assessment results, as well as semester marks of students in the selected departments.

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Determining correlations between Library usage and student success at the Durban University of Technology: a pilot study

Thorpe et al. (2016: 373) note that there is a growing trend for academic libraries to adopt measures that demonstrate the value of the library in the context of student success. While it may seem intuitive to librarians that students who engage more with library services and resources learn more, Oakleaf (2017) cautions that providing reliable evidence to support this is not straightforward. Librarians are aware of the numerous activities students engage with in the library, and, according to Soria, Fransen and Nackerud (2013), it is important to examine the differences of each of those interactions in relation to student success. To provide reliable and contemporary evidence of associations of library usage and student success, a multi-phase quantitative student success project was undertaken at a single site library, BM Patel Library, at the start of the first semester of 2017.

The first phase of the project provided a comprehensive view of the use of physical and virtual library services at BM Patel Library by undergraduate Faculty of Management Sciences students. Five service points were identified that provided the data for this study. Statistics were collected from library entrance points, library book loans, computer use, laptop use, and off-campus use. The sample consisted of students enrolled in three departments: Marketing and Retail Management, Public Management and Economics, and Human Resource Management. These departments were selected based on the analysis of library visits of all students who visited the BM Patel Library in the first semester.

According to the ACRL findings on academic library impact on student success, there is compelling evidence that library use and information literacy (IL) attendance increases student success (Burrows 2011). There are limited local studies that attempt to determine the impact of IL training on student success. This could be due to challenges in the collection of relevant data and/or the use of the data to draw correlations to student success reliably. This paper reports on the second phase of the project, which goes beyond the data from service points and incorporates data from three additional sources: IL attendance, IL assessment results, as well as semester marks of students in the selected departments.