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Internships: Access Services

Reference Data Analysis

Our intern conducted a comprehensive analysis of our latest data statistics, with a particular focus on identifying peak periods and days characterized by a substantial surge in reference traffic inquiries. This encompassed the collection of our Ask a Librarian reference statistics from Springshare's LibAnswers and LibChat products and the synthesis of this data to discern the weekly reference trends at the Woodruff Library service desk. This project held significant significance within our organization, serving a dual purpose. It not only aimed to enhance our understanding of reference inquiry performance but also provided our intern with invaluable experience in data handling and interpretation in the field of library services. 

This research project sought to answer the following questions: 

  • What sorts of questions are students and researchers asking and when? What does this level of inquiry look like according to the Reference Effort Assessment Data (READ) scale? 
  • How and when should we link our subject librarians to LibAnswers? Are we missing potential opportunities to deepen reference transactions? 
  • Based on these inquiries, can we create standards and expectations for what a high-quality reference transaction looks like? 
  • How can we remove barriers to information and information resources? 

The insights derived from this data will play a crucial role in shaping staffing decisions and fostering collaborations with other library units such as the Research, Engagement, and Scholarly Communications team who serve as reference librarians to our academic community. Additionally, our intern collaborated with graduate student staff from our Emory Center for Digital Scholarship to create the graphics and charts that constituted an integral part of their project.