Saturday, January 07, 2023

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Library Management System Based on Usage Statistics

       Libraries today rely on data-driven decisions to improve how well their Library Management System serves users. They need real-time access to important library management statistics in order to accomplish this. To plan, develop, and evaluate their services, libraries gather a variety of statistics. Budgeting, collection development, deselection and cancellation decisions, as well as discussions with vendors, are all aided by the statistics.

According to Marshall Breeding (2014)(1) “Analytics help libraries adjust the way they perform their work, improve efficiency, and make better use of their financial and human resources to maximize the impact of their collections and services.”


Usage Statistics: It means collecting, analyzing and presenting the usage data to evaluate the true relevancy and value of a service. For the purposes of creating, analyzing, and planning their services, libraries gather a variety of statistics. Circulation, visits, collection, acquisitions, use of electronic resources, reference/chat interactions, and library education sessions are a few examples.

Library Management System Usage Statistics

Online Search Statistics: It is a very important usage statistic for library professionals to better know the educational needs of users. This involves the online catalogue search report that gives the amount of searching done within a system. This information assists the librarian in determining whether improvements to cataloguing practices or the search interface are required. Search metrics are extracted on the basis of searching the library catalogue based on types of items (e-Books, print books, e-journals, audios, videos, etc.) and also on the basis of categories of users (faculty, UG, and PG) or students and researchers, etc.

Circulation Statistics: This gives an idea of what types of items are in demand. Which category of users (faculty, students, or researchers) requires which type of document more? This allows librarians to determine which types of media (physical vs. electronic, or book vs. e-book) are in demand and react proactively to user behavior. The renewal statistics can tell you what kinds of titles are in high demand, and the number of times holds are placed on specific items can tell you how popular they are.

Acquisition statistics: This gives the budget spent on a particular type of item and lets us decide to reshuffle the budget classification based on the popularity of items.

E-Resources Usage Statistics: The growing popularity of e-resources in libraries presents the need for useful, consistent, and timely usage data for assessment and decision-making.

Baker & Read, 2008(2) defined e-resources usage statistics as a “specified set of data elements to help libraries measure the use of their electronic resources” to evaluate subscriptions and to determine value and return on investment (ROI) for libraries.

By using COUNTER reports, librarians can make better-informed decisions based on useful metrics such as cost-per-use and by comparing usage statistics from different vendors.

"COUNTER(3) (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources), an inter-national initiative by and for librarians, publishers, and intermediaries, was formed to facilitate the recording and exchange of online usage statistics and to bring more consistency to the measurement of the use of electronic resources."


Few examples of Usage Statistics aggregators:

Here are few products that Easily gather and manage usage data for all your subscriptions regardless of vendor and, alows you to collect, consolidate, and report on the usage of your library’s online resources.

 Libraries must pay special attention to the relative capabilities of different systems for harnessing data and analytics to generate useful results as they examine their upcoming expenditures in automation infrastructure.  Proxy Server Logs, Link resolvers and, Google analytics are the metrics that libraries can collect to measure the usage of their online resources. Few Examples of Library Management Systems having Analyitcs Software are: Ex Libris: Alma Analytics and Primo AnalyticsFOLIO ProjectOCLCBased on the above statistics, we can decide which LMS (Library Management System) will be most suitable for us to cater to our needs at the optimum level. To manage both types of resources (print and electronic), we need an integrated LMS that has the capacity to effectively manage both types of resources.


  1. Marshall Breeding (2014). Data-Driven Libraries. Computers in Libraries [September 2014] The Systems Librarian.
  2. Gayle Baker and Eleanor J. Read (2008). Learned Publishing, 21, 48–57doi: 10.1087/095315108X247276.
  4. Jian Wang and Hannah McKelvey. Usage Statistics (SPARC).
  5. Imed Bouchrika (2022). 20 Best Library Management Software in 2023.
  6. Marshall Breeding (2021). 2021 Library Systems Report | American Libraries Magazine

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