Getting the Most from Your Library Data

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Libraries collect large amounts of data, in an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and services. But are we collecting the right data? And are we utilizing the data we collect to its fullest extent? RAILS is pleased to offer our members a series of CE events focused on library data that will help answer questions like these. These workshops and webinars will help participants understand the right data to collect, how to work with the data you gather, and how to use that data effectively to communicate a message to your stakeholders.

These CE opportunities are open to all RAILS members and are a component of the RAILS My Library Is. . . . campaign to help libraries tell their story and showcase their value to their community of users. Please see L2 for the full descriptions of programs and to register to attend. All webinars will be recorded for access via the RAILS CE Archives.

"Using Your Data Superpowers for Good"

Wednesday, April 24

9:30–10:30 a.m.

Participants will learn to think more strategically about the data the library collects and analyzes, and make informed decisions on what to collect. Amy Koester and Devan Parkison from Skokie Public Library present this hour-long webinar.

"Separating the Wheat from the Chaff; Developing a Scalable Strategy for Gathering and Reporting Analytics"

Thursday, May 9

1:30–3:00 p.m.

This webinar will discuss how to create a strategy for gathering and reporting analytics in three parts: framing the questions that are most important, auditing the potential points where data is collected, and evaluating which data should be collected. Presented by Suzanna Conrad, head of library information systems at California State University.

"Cleaning Your Data with OpenRefine"

Thursday, May 16

9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

OpenRefine is a powerful tool used for collecting and cleaning up data. This workshop will include training on how to access OpenRefine, how to use its functions, and particular techniques most relevant to working with library data. Presented by Margaret Heller, digital services librarian at Loyola University Chicago.

"Simple Spreadsheets: Data Analysis Techniques and Time-Saving Secrets"

Thursday, June 13

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

This interactive webinar will focus on several components of spreadsheets, such as pivot tables and data analysis functions, that will help participants save time and more effectively tabulate their library data. This webinar is presented by Ann K. Emery, founder of Depict Data Studio.

"Great Graphs: Transform Spreadsheets into Stories with Data Visualization"

Thursday, June 19

1:30–3:00 p.m.

This webinar will look at data visualization, and how to make your library data more visual through charts, tables, and diagrams to deliver bite-sized information that view can understand at a glance. This webinar is presented by Ann K. Emery, founder of Depict Data Studio.

"Report Redesign"

This webinar will focus on practical techniques for getting your data out of lengthy reports and into real-world conversations. Learn how to incorporate chapter dividers, color-coding, icons, and text hierarchies to break your content into more manageable chunks. This webinar is presented by Ann K. Emery, founder of Depict Data Studio.

"Introduction to Statistics for Librarians"

9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

July 10: Peoria Public Library

July 11: RAILS Burr Ridge Service Center

This confidence-building workshop will present simple statistical techniques in everyday language for doing calculations useful in library settings. Participants will use spreadsheet software to execute basic questions and conduct simple statistical tests. This workshop is presented by Dr. Jen Sweeney, program evaluation and management planning consultant.

"Wrangling Library Patron Data Privacy"

Thursday, July 18

1:30–3:00 p.m.

Participants in this webinar will explore the realm of library data privacy through the data lifecycle, including the logistics of data storage and access, as well as the best ways to delete data. This webinar will investigate library practices that put patron privacy at risk, as well as ways that library staff can mitigate those risks. Presented by Becky Yoose, founder and Library Data Privacy Consultant for LDH Consulting Services.

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