data-driven strategizing for tiny libraries

I really need to upgrade this version of WordPress but I only remember when I am making a post and so I am busy. I did take the time, with other VLA members (Heidi! Helen! Sarah!) of redesigning the Vermont Library Association website. It was a great project, still a little bit in process, but I learned a lot more about responsive design and working with a team of engaged and interested people. Last weekend I went to Lexington MA to speak at the Cary Public Library. Not my usual routine, I was a guest speaker at a brunch talking about blogs. No slides, just talking. I talked about the history of this blog–15 years old this month–and other things I’ve done as a blogger. It went well. You can read the talk here: Blogs, Blogging and Bloggers. Scroll to the end to read a list of good book/reading blogs I put together. Ah, blogs!

Cutler library stats

This past weekend I went to a strategic planning retreat for one of the local small public libraries. They are in the unenviable position of needing to make some changes without really having the cash or the staffing to do those changes. The head of the board asked if I’d come in and talk about… making tough decsions, what other libraries are doing, that sort of thing. I came in to talk a little bit about Libraries I Have Known and spent about 45 minutes with a combination of local library anecdotes (I got a million of ‘em) and some data-driven talk.

The Vermont Department of Libraries puts out a terrific Giant Spreadsheet every year with a lot of information about all of Vermont’s libraries. I’ve talked about it before. However, it’s more data than most people want to deal with, which is perfectly okay. I took the giant spreadsheet and used some Excel filtering and added some averages and summaries and was able to create a much more modest spreadsheet which basically said “Show us how we’re doing compared to other libraries our size” For this project, I took all the libraries that had within 400 people population-wise and found the most salient information about those libraries (budget, circ, per capita funding, programming &c.) and then highlighted where this library fell on the matrix for these values. It didn’t take long, but it was fiddly work. At the end of it I think I had a really useful one-sheet for the board (above) and a few smaller spreadsheets so they could see where the numbers came from. It was fun. I’d love to do it for more libraries. I work in-state for pizza and Fresca (and mileage if I have to schlep someplace). Look me up.

2013 in libraries

Daytum Wrap up of 2013 in libraries

I tracked the libraries that I visited this year, like every year. I have also done this in 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. Ten years ago I did a short list of library visits where I actually reviwed the places I’d been. Ah to have that much free time!

I went to thirty-eight different libraries in eleven states for fifty-six visits total. Just a little more than last year. I’m sure I have forgotten some. Here’s the short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year. Top three libraries are the same as every year: my local public, my local academic and my summer local. All great places.

  • Hartness/Randolph VT – have not been here so much in the latter part of 2012, but this is still one of my favorite academic libraries.
  • Kimball VT – my local, I don’t work here as much but still go here all the time.
  • Westport MA – summer library, good for DVDs and other vacation-style stuff.
  • Plymouth State NH – gave a talk, saw the library. A neat looking place, with a cool clock in the entryway.
  • JoCo – Desoto KS – a tiny town with a great library where I checked my email while there was a rainstorm.
  • Ashtabula Public OH – stopped by on a road trip and saw a lot of people with fishing poles. A quirky big library.
  • St. Johnsbury VT – was here for the Hug the Library event during the unpleasantness.
  • Minneapolis MN – hadn’t been here since the redesign. Enjoyed its shininess.
  • Natick/Morse MA – killing time between friends and dinner, this was a great place to hang out.
  • JoCo – Lackman KS – said hello to Josh Neff here!
  • Beloit Public WI – lovely library, stopped in on a road trip and enjoyed myself. Fancy and shiny and new.
  • St Paul MN – met a really nice librarian who told me some great history of the place.
  • Harwood HS, Duxbury VT – my friend Meghan works here, stopped by the say hello.
  • Manhattan KS – the public library when I was in town to hang out with my friend Donna.
  • Beebe/Wakefield MA – such a neat place with a great bee-themed marketing campaign.
  • Giamatti research center NY – Baseball Hall of Fame! My friend Paul worked as an intern, was fun to look through scrapbooks.
  • KState KS – Donna gave me the grand tour and we got to see the basement.
  • Nebraska Library Commission NE – said hi to the terrific Michael Sauers and gave a talk here.
  • Brookfield VT – first time in a tiny library so close to home.
  • Omaha Public NE – big and beautiful and got to meet the woman who does programming there.
  • Roxbury VT – another favorite one-room library, haven’t been there since they got a bathroom installed.
  • Somerville MA – killing time before the movies, this library is always busy and has a lot going on.
  • KANEKO-UNO Library NE – an arty, somewhat private library, we took a brief look around. Very cool space & collection.
  • Brown/Northfield VT – lovely merging of old and new buildings.
  • Chelmsford MA – saying hi to Brian!
  • Boston Public MA – a nice place to chill on a chilly Boston day.
  • Providence RI – Surprised I hadn’t been here before. Neat old building, oddly underused, it seemed.
  • Lawrence KS – in an old Borders building while they renovated. Quite busy.
  • Windsor VT – checking out the seed library, great photos of local residents.
  • Hartland VT – stopping by because I was in Windsor, before Amy got there, I think.
  • New Bedford Pl MA – amazing building and we got to peek at some of the artwork they were restoring.
  • Topeka/Shawnee KS – a great tour by David Lee King, consummate friend to librarians everywhere.
  • Lincoln Public NE – stopped in before dinner with Michael, busy and overtaxed.
  • Merriam Park – St Paul MN – smaller neat suburban library.
  • Union/Tiverton RI – so cute, so small! Librarian so friendly!
  • Ashland NE – stopped by when I was on a drive. Neat old building, soon to be renovated, amazingly friendly and helpful librarian.
  • Carney/Dartmouth MA – gosh I love this weird place and I want to go back there all the time.
  • Monmouth/Manalapam NJ – doesn’t look like much from the outside but has a lot going on.

I had such a good time visiting all of these places. I can get sort of schmaltzy sometimes but I think the public library system in the US is a truly terrific thing. Here’s to another great year of library visits.

2012 in libraries

I tracked the libraries that I visited this year. I have also done this in 2011, 2010 and 2009.

I went to thirty-five different libraries in eleven states for fifty-four visits total. I’m sure I have forgotten some. Here’s the short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year. Foursquare really helped me keep this list up to date. Top three libraries are the same as last year.

  • Kimball Library, Randolph VT – this is the library where I work as an on-call part timer since I live up the street, and also where I check out books
  • Hartness Library, VTC, Randolph VT – this is the good college library nearby me where anyone in the state can get a library card. I’ve got renewed interest in it since I started watching TV series on my ipad when at the gym.
  • Westport, MA – the library in the town where my father lived and where I still spend a good amount of time. Great booksale.
  • Lawrenceburg, IN – was here for a conference, stopped at the library twice, lovely place
  • Kilton Library, Lebanon NH – saying hi to Virgil again
  • Cranston, RI – hung out with Ed Garcia and got to see his cool library
  • Keene State, Keene NH – got a tour from the library director after a talk there
  • Carthage, MO – stopped by on my way cross-country
  • Nashville TN – stopped in en route to the TN Library association conference, really nice place, amazing renovations
  • Knoxville Public, TN – a library in need of some serious renovations, stark contrast to Nashville
  • NYPL/SIBL, NY – always a favorite, sorry it’s going away
  • Worcester PL, MA – checked the place out after a conference, a really well designed place
  • Ellis (Mizzou), Columbia MO – one of those wacky places with an old and a new part that don’t quite line up. Enjoyed my tour.
  • S. Boone County, Columbia MO – a nice newish library
  • Cranston, Hall Branch, RI – a fancier cousin to the main Cranston library, neat basement
  • AVA South Studio Library, NH – attached to an art gallery, a nice selection of books
  • East Providence, RI – waited here before meeting someone at a nearby comedy club when it was raining, nice staff
  • Hudson, MA – an old funky building, terrific hang out spot
  • Midstate, Berlin VT – we had an unconference here which was a great time
  • Watertown, MA – a neat new and old library with huge collection and a lot of neat places to hang out
  • Chelmsford, MA – saying hi to Brian
  • Mendik/NYLS, NY – chilling out after a busy conference, a neat basement library
  • Cambridge, MA – hanging out waiting for Jim to get out from his colonoscopy, thumbs up!
  • Pasadena, CA – an odd old building only sort of repurposed for modern uses
  • Hartland VT – my friend Mary doesn’t work here anymore!
  • Keene Public, NH – scooted by here on my way out of town
  • Fall River, MA – lovely old building
  • Chelsea, VT – saying hi to my friend Virgil
  • Howe/Hanover NH – stopping by en route to meeting some friends in from out of town, playable piano out front
  • St Louis – Machacek – this library did not have wifi, I was stunned
  • Berlin MA – such a cute small and awesome library
  • Blount County/Maryville TN – a neat middle-of noplace branch, super well designed and hoppin’
  • Rochester, VT – doing a lot with not very much
  • CUNY, NY – in an old department store building, fun tour
  • Charlotte, NC – an amazing bustling city library with some weird old empty parts to it

2011 in libraries

As with last year and the year before, I tracked the libraries that I visited this year. I usually take pictures if I can. I use Daytum to track visits. The graph it produces is weird because the one big chunk is the library I work in but the other big chunk is called “twenty-four more items” which is sort of a weird way to display data. If anyone has a better lifetracker app they enjoy, please do let me know.

I went to forty-four different libraries for eighty-three visits total, I’m sure I have forgotten some. It’s a big increase over last year. Here’s the short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year. I have a few library photos in this Flickr photoset.

  • Kimball Library, Randolph VT – this is the library where I work as an on-call part timer since I live up the street, and also where I check out books
  • Hartness Library, VTC, Randolph VT – this is the good college library nearby me where anyone in the state can get a library card
  • Westport, MA – the library in the town where my father lived and where I still spend a good amount of time. Great booksale.
  • Fletcher Library, Ludlow VT – I was part of the e4VT program here and taught a basic skills computer class with ARRA grant money, a lovely old school library
  • Ann Arbor PL, MI – gave a few talks over a few days and got to hang out here, love this place
  • Milwaukee Public, WI – a library I hadn’t been to in a long time, an impressive building that maybe used to be a zoo?
  • Howland Green, New Bedford MA – one of New Bedford’s “not the main library” libraries.
  • Terraza PL, Austin TX – a cool little branch near where I was staying.
  • UNT – Willis – got a tour, enjoyed the open spaces
  • Hudson PL, MA – a small funky branch right by a river
  • Chapel Hill NC – in the mall for the time being, but pretty neat for a temporary library
  • Lubec, ME – lovely and small with great furniture and mosaics outside
  • Central Branch, Portland OR – long been one of my favorites
  • Marquette, Milwaukee WI – got a tour from a friend and saw the abandoned old entrance
  • SIBL/NYPL – the best place to check email downtown
  • Southworth PL, Dartmouth MA – another small branch in Southern MA
  • Emily Fowler Library, Denton TX – got some local history and learned about local architecture here
  • Central Branch, Austin TX – another perennial favorite – got some books for the plane
  • Ryerson Library, Grand Rapids MI – an impressive library with a lot going on inside
  • Pierson, Shelburne VT – underneath the town hall with a good board game collection
  • Kalamazoo Public – neat and fancy, got a tour of the basement
  • UNT – Eagle, Denton TX – checked out the new learning commons getting set up
  • Denton North Branch, Denton TX – a weird side-of-the-highway large branch
  • Kent District, Kentwood MI – neat suburban library with some cool public art and terrific views
  • Bar Harbor, ME – got a tour while they were setting up for the booksale
  • Lawler PL, New Bedford MA – another small New Bedford Library, sort of sad looking
  • Roanoke PL, Roanoke TX – a small library doing a lot with what they had
  • Twin Oaks PL, Austin TX – a fancy new little branch
  • Bailey-Howe, UVM, Burlington VT – one of my faves, especially the special collections in the basement
  • TWU, Denton TX – got a tour from my friend Greg and enjoyed the history and the air conditioning
  • Maine State Library, Augusta ME – a great hideout after a long day conferencing
  • Ransom PL, Plainwell MI – one of the little libraries we saw driving from Kalamazoo to Grand Rapids
  • Kilton PL, Lebanon NH – tour from my friend Virgil! Neat new branch.
  • Olin College, Needham MA – tour from the head librarian, neat materials science collections
  • Alling PL, Williston VT – a small library good for checking email when on the road
  • Hartland VT – my friend Mary works here!
  • Allegan District Library, MI – a pretty straightforward library
  • Parchment PL, MI – a diaorama of the parchment factory is hidden in the basement here
  • Peabody Institute, Danvers MA – a beautiful building with a lovely landscaped grounds, nice for hanging out
  • Putney PL, Putney VT – warm and small with a lot going on for a teeny place
  • New Bedford PL, New Bedford MA – beautiful old building sort of clunkily repurposed, always great for a visit
  • Ferguson Library Stamford CT – went to a CLA event here and bought expensive books from their booksale
  • Holland MI PL – fancy and with turtles
  • Brooks PL Brattleboro VT – some neat open source stuff going on there, got a tour after giving a talk

Dataviz you can get behind, librarians as sees through a census lens

Today, the marriage rate among librarians is the highest it has ever been with 62 percent of librarians married in 2009.”

There is a lot of data in the world. Librarians are good at using census data to help people find families, get local information and just learn something about the way the world used to be. Here’s a neat post about using hte census data from the last 120 years to learn something about librarianship as a profession. Did you know that the number of self-reported librarians peaked in 1990 and has declined almost 30% since then? I am somewhat curious if this is just because people with library and information science backgrounds are calling themselves all manner of things now [Is a taxonomist a librarian? How about a metadata specialist?]. You can read the full post, with graphs, over at Oxford University Press’s Social explorer.

2010 in libraries

Because I am a detail-oriented nerd, I track the libraries that I visit. I usually take pictures if I can. Here is my post about the 2009 visits. I’m still using Daytum to track visits and I learned they just came out with an iphone app last month. I went to twenty-six different libraries for fifty-five visits total, I’m sure I have forgotten some. Here’s the short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year. I have a few library photos in this Flickr photoset.

  • Kimball Public library (18) – my hometown library where I often worked this year.
  • Hartness/Randolph (10) – the local academic library, open late, great DVD collection.
  • Howe/Hanover (2) – my favorite bigger town library, so comfy, so lovely.
  • Boxboro MA (2) – my Mom’s library, great for unwinding.
  • Loussac/Anchorage Pl AK(2) – went here twice when I was at AKLA, neat architecture, busy place.
  • Chelmsford MA(1) – came to see Brian, stayed to do work.
  • Surprise AZ (1) – on a tour with my boyfriend’s parents. Neat libraries, so unlike New England libraries.
  • Stowe Free VT(1) – former workplace of my great library pal Stephanie.
  • New Bedford Pl MA(1) – I was on a weird research quest and they helped me out.
  • Montpelier VT(1) – popping in to check email, lovely old wood in here.
  • Burnahm Library, Colchester VT (1) – on a 251 club drive, nifty busy library.
  • Goddard VT(1) – for a WordPress training, home library of my friend Helen.
  • Beatley/Simmons MA (1) – before I gave a public speaking workshop.
  • Cambridge (1) – walking distance from my boyfriend’s place, amazing renovation.
  • Peoria AZ (1) – modern and fancy but sort of empty.
  • Alling/Williston, VT (1) – fun history room and a snazzy bookmobile.
  • Fort Lauderdale Reading Center, FL (1) – a weird non-library in some ways, well-loved clearly.
  • Jericho/Deborah Rawson VT(1) – Fireplace and wifi, a great place.
  • Palm Beach State College, FL (1) – busy place, old-fashioned building but modern collection.
  • N Regional/Broward County Library, FL (1) – big and bustling, a little hectic.
  • Niceville Pl, FL (1) – fun design, nice people, memorable fish tank
  • Waterville NY (1) – doing great things, big lovely windows and light for a small place.
  • Lantana Public Library, FL(1) – old fashioned and full, great location.
  • Warren Branch, Indy (1) – super busy old style library/
  • Nat’l Archives – Waltham MA (1) – friendly staff helped make awkward renovations managable.
  • Maynard MA (1) – last library of the year, bright and busy w/ a great book sale.

2009 in libraries

daytum

I’m a nerdy list-maker. This should come as a surprise to no one. In addition to all the other reasons I enjoy the end of the year, it’s also when I make my year-end summaries. I did a guestroom wrap-up on my personal blog. I have two bookish wrap-ups to put here. This first one is about library visits. 2009 was the first year I kept track of all my library visits in an orderly fashion. Longtime readers of this blog may remember I did library reviews in 2003. I found I had a difficult time with constructive criticism if I knew the people who worked at a library, so I stopped doing this.

This year I made 67 library visits, about one every five days. A lot of these were for work [either local work or giving talks] and the rest were either fun or curiosity. I used a website called Daytum to track my visits which was really easy. So, here’s a short annotated list of what I was doing in libraries last year.

  • Aldrich/Barre (1) – killing time before dinner with friends in town. The first library in Vermont I did any work for.
  • Austin (1) – LBJ library, sort of a flyby right beore it closed for the day.
  • Belfast, ME (1) – a small pretty library we stopped at while on vacation
  • Belmont, MA (5) – my boyfriend’s local library
  • Boxboro, MA (1) – my mom and sister’s library
  • Cambridge, MA (1) – got to see it after the renovations were done. It’s nice!
  • Camden, ME (1) – another fancy little Maine library
  • Chelmsford, MA (1) – home of the Swiss Army Librarian
  • Concord, NH (1) – stopped in here during a rainstorm
  • Des Moines, IA (1) – I helped change their photo policy!
  • Elko, NV (1) – A small library with a great mining collection
  • Hartness/Randolph VT (7) – my local college library
  • Houghton Library, Harvard University (1) – special tour and Samuel Johnson exhibit
  • Howe/Hanover, NH (4) – one of my favorite all-time libraries
  • JFK Library, MA (1) – mostly a museum and a general disappointment
  • Kimball/Randolph VT (6) – my town library, a great place
  • Library of Congress (1) – thanks Dan Chudnov for the tour.
  • Long Branch, NJ (1) – fun to poke around in while I was at NJLA
  • Montreal, QC (1) – ducked in here during a subway bomb scare
  • McGill/Montreal, QC (1) – gave a talk, saw the library
  • NYPL (2) – hiding out with good wifi in the periodicals room, highly recommended
  • NYPL/SIBL (1) – fancy library, right downtown
  • Portland, ME (1) – another hideout from the rain
  • Portsmouth, NH (1) – gave a talk and stuck around
  • Rochester, VT (1) – classic small-town library in a funky old building
  • Toronto, ON (1) – no wifi, sort of surprising
  • Tunbridge, VT (21) – where I work most of the time
  • Westport, MA (1) – my Dad’s library.

Some Vermont library statistics, fyi

So, I gave a short talk at the Library 2.0 Symposium at Yale on Saturday. Put on by the Information Society Project, it was a gathering of people ruminating on the nature of future libraries. Only a few of the participants seemed to know our profession’s definition of Library 2.0 but that didn’t seem to matter much. There are some great summaries of the panel discussions on the Yale ISP blog. Most people there were academic, but I did get to hang out with Josh Greenberg from NYPL and see Brewster Kahle talk about the Internet Archive’s book scanning project. My general angle was that while we talk a lot about the “born digital” generation, there are still places here in the US — hey, I live in one — where the sort of network effect that is necessary for 2.0 sorts of things still eludes us. We each got about ten minutes and I could have used twenty, but you can look at my five slides if you’d like.

The whole day was worthwhile, but it’s somewhat ironic that we were encouraged to use twitter and blog our reactions while the room the panel was in had almost no wifi and no outlets. I don’t know why this sort of thing still surprises me, but I just felt that a high-powered panel would be able to receive high-powered tech support and handle things like this. Not so.

Today we got notification that public library statistics are available for Vermont and got a link to this page. No HTML summary so I’m going to pull out a few things that I thought were notable so maybe other people can link to it or maybe I’ll crosspost on the VLA blog.

  • Vermont has 182 public libraries, the largest number of libraries per capita in the US.
  • 174 of these libraries have Internet access; 160 of these have high speed access. Do the math, that’s 14 libraries with dial-up and eight with nothing.
  • Half of the public librarians in the state have MLSes or the equivalent.
  • 73% of Vermont library funding comes from local taxes; 27% comes from other local sources (grants, fundraising)
  • Eleven public libraries filter internet access on all terminals (as opposed to some libraries that offer a children’s filtered option)

The library that I work in serves about 1300 people and is open nineteen hours per week. We’re the only library at our population level (serving 1000-2499 people) that loaned more books than we borrowed via ILL. Ninety-six percent of the service population have library cards. I’m still reading for more details, fascinating stuff really.

do library users care about our new initiatives?

Rochelle links to a survey done by the Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (pdf) which looks at how library users and non-users look at library services across the state of Wisconsin. It also compares results this year with results from the same survey four years ago, so looking at the trends is also revealing. The report is about twenty pages long and worth a pretty good scan. I have a few comments on the survey and the results.

First off, I am the typical “most likely to use the library” user according to this survey. Late 30s, female, comfy with computers and a regular internet user. And, guess what, I use the library all the time! Secondly, the survey puts people into user and non-user groups based on how they answer the question “Which of the following terms best describes how regularly you personally use your public library?” If you answer rarely or never, you’re a non-user. If you answer very or somewhat regularly, you’re a user. I assume there is a decent reason to do this, but I’d think even if you went to a library a few times a year, I’d consider that a rare user but also not a non-user.

One of the most interesting parts of the survey results is on page 16 entitled “New Initiatives” where they ask about how interested patrons are about using some new technology initiatives. To me they are asking all the wrong questions (mostly about content, less about context). They ask a lot of questions about downloadable content, which makes sense since the library probably has to shell out money for these things and wants to figure out if they’re worth it. However, they also ask about 24/7 librarian access and IMing a librarian and also find that people tend towards the “slightly disinterested” side. In fact the only new technology initiative that got anything that fell towards the positive side was wireless internet access. I wish they’d asked more questions about computers generally. Do people want more classes? Do they want more Macs? Do they want more public access PCs?

The next fascinating page follows: what would make you use the library more. The two runaway favorite answers are “If it were open more hours” and “If it had more CDs/DVDs/videos that I wanted” This will definitely be helpful for libraries who are facing funding drives since they can direct appeals appropriately, but I’m curious how the hours question breaks down. Do people want late night hours (as I do), or morning hours, or consistent hours, or weekend hours, what? Similarly, the difference between people wanting more classical music CDs (or any music CDs if your library doesn’t have a music collection) is worlds away from wanting popular movie DVDs.

Lastly, I’d like to point to the Internet question which was sort of glossed over. Of all the people surveyed 26% had no Internet at home and 23% only had dial-up. That’s nearly half the respondents having a level of connectivity at home where a downloadable audiobook is worth basically nothing to them, and likely a group that doesn’t spend a lot of time online. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t still stress technology initiatives, but that’s a pretty sobering takeaway when you’re trying to provide more and more services online.

The summary from the group that did the survey has an odd, to me, conclusion.

So, this information presents a juncture: On one hand, if you interpret the results literally you could make a decision to reject technology and focus on building a collection around personal enjoyment for Wisconsin residents. On the other hand, these same results may suggest that initiatives and library services need to be marketed in such a way that resonates with current conceptions of a public library. To this end, I would suggest an exploration of branding Wisconsin library services to more effectively market services. But, regardless of the direction taken from the juncture, a heightened focus on Wisconsin public library customers and customer service is essential in order to expand and maintain your current brand loyalty.

Do they realy think that the solution to getting more people to perceive value from the libraries technology initiatives is to just find a more effective way to market them? Aren’t there questions they could have asked about the services that would have helped nail this down more effectively such as “Are you aare that the library offers downloadable audio books?” “Do you use this service, why or why not?”

As I’ve said before, I think that before we can fully immerse ourselves in a 2.0 initiative as librarians, we have to make sure we’re counting the right things. If you only collect internal statistics on reference interactions that happen in-person or on the phone, it’s no wonder that IM reference seems like a “flavor of the month” thing for the library to do. And, after the fact, if you can’t show that people are really using the new techie things that you do provide it’s harder to stress that those things that should be part of what your library is and does. Many of these things are countable — website stats, flickr photostream views, IM interactions — the question is: are we counting them?

our rights to have download/usage stats for databases

I am sorry I didn’t link to this earlier, but Anna Creech’s back and forth exchange with one of their journal vendors should be a reminder that it’s very important for libraries to advocate for their own best interests, and those of their patrons. When a library’s desires conflict with publishers desires — as in this case where Anna’s library wants download/usage statistics and the publisher does not want to provide them — we need to remember that we are the customer and it’s totally appropriate for us to make sure that the products we’re purchasing are being used. We shouldn’t have to survey our own users to see if and how our databases are being used, that data should be available for us to be able to make informed purchasing decisions with.