Stone, Graham, Pattern, David and Ramsden, Bryony (2012) Library Impact Data Project: hit, miss or maybe. In: Proving value in challenging times: proceedings of the 9th Northumbria international conference on performance measurement in libraries and information services. University of York, York, pp. 385-390. ISBN 978-0-901931-11-5

In February 2011 the University of Huddersfield along with 7 partners were awarded JISC funding through the Activity Data programme to investigate the hypothesis that:

“There is a statistically significant correlation across a number of universities between library activity data and student attainment”

The Library Impact Data Project aimed to analyse users’ actions with regards to library usage and then linking those to final degree award. By identifying a positive correlation in this data those subject areas or courses which exhibit high usage of library resources can be used as models of good practice.

Design, methodology or approach
The overall approach of the project is to extract anonymised activity data from partners’ systems and analyse the findings. For each student who graduated in the sample years, the following data was required: final grade achieved; number of books borrowed; number of times e-resources were accessed; number of times each student entered the library and school or faculty. This data was then collated, normalised, and then analysed. In addition all partners were asked to hold a number of focus groups in order to secure qualitative data from students on library usage to provide a holistic picture of how students engage with library resources.

This paper will report on the findings of the project which ran from February to July 2011. It will consider whether the hypothesis was proven for the three indicators of library usage.

Research or practical limitations or implications
The main aim of the project was to support the hypothesis. The project acknowledges however, that the relationship between the two variables is not a causal relationship and there will be other factors which influence student attainment.

The paper will discuss the implications of the results and suggest further work that could result from the projects findings.

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