Handling research requests is the most visible thing that special librarians do, but unfortunately the significant positive impact on the organization is too easily ignored by senior management.
At SLA 2019, during one of our two Hot Topics sessions, our panelists explored ways to optimize research and request workflow, including how to capture and interpret relevant and powerful metrics.
They discussed fundamental questions, such as:
- Why is it important to capture the entirety of your request and research activities?
- What are the benefits and value of capturing this information—to the organization, to the library, to the individual?
- How, why and for whom should you collect and measure data related to reference requests and research?
Panelists Samantha Bouwers (Librarian, ACT, Inc), Andrea Bruce (Knowledge & Information Research Professional, Hatch), and Alaina Kolosh (Manager, Library and Information Services, National Safety Council), covered topics such as:
- Customer satisfaction
- Knowledge gaps
- Training gaps
- Return on your resource investment
- Return on the organization’s investment in the library or knowledge center
Attendees refreshed their understanding of the importance of transparency in the research and request management process, selecting the “right” metrics and expressing them through management reports, and the critical importance of evidence-based decision-making.
We invite you to download a copy of our white paper, “The Power of Transformative, Integrated, Measurable Request Management”. Do you have any tips for librarians on how to leverage request management statistics? Please share them in the comments below; we’d love to hear them.
Special librarians increasingly work in virtual settings; there are many free tools to create online resources to information and work virtually
Skills for special librarians include tuning out to avoid burnout; disconnecting from work, taking time every day to revitalize energy and enthusiasm
Skills for special librarians include using the Universal Design for Learning framework to develop meaningful training for users of special libraries
Skills for special librarians include a commitment to lifelong learning; reflective practice supports professional development and improved service