Washington DC. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to announce the availability of the final report of a ground-breaking study on the usage of electronic resources: MINES for Libraries: Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services and the Ontario Council of University Libraries' Scholar Portal, Final Report 2011.
The study summarizes findings on 34,000 randomly captured uses of electronic resources over a 12-month period from the 21 members of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). ARL worked collaboratively with OCUL's Scholars Portal staff to implement a second iteration of the Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services (MINES for Libraries) methodology that captures data on library user demographics, the purpose of use, and the location of the user at point of use when accessing electronic resources and services. The results show the increasing value derived from the use of digital content, and document the emerging use of digital resources in the humanities, and the soaring use of electronic resources from off-campus locations.
The data are currently used by Scholars Portal staff, as well as staff in OCUL institutions, to determine how specific populations apply digital content to their work, identify where library use originates to tailor services accordingly, gather usage data on digital collections to justify funding and inform collection development decisions, and assess the impact of networked electronic resources and services on teaching, learning, and research.
ARL implemented this methodology in collaboration with OCUL in 2004–2005 and again in 2010–2011. The latest summary report focuses on the 2010–2011 findings and provides a description of the major differences between the two implementations. The report is available at: http://www.libqual.org/documents/LibQual/publications/MINES_OCUL2011.pdf
OCUL is comprised of twentyone member libraries that work cooperatively to enhance information services through consortial purchasing, resource sharing, document delivery and other activities and services. These members vary significantly in scope, disciplinary focus, and in size from 870 FTE (Algoma) to 68,334 FTE (University of Toronto).
In 2001, OCUL established Scholars Portal, to serve as an information infrastructure to deliver digital content in support of research, teaching, and learning within the province's universities. In addition to digital content delivery, Scholars Portal includes a number of core services that are shared by all members, including an interlibrary loan fulfillment service (RACER), citation management software (RefWorks), and Ex Libris' SFX openURL resolver.
Measuring the Impact of Networked Electronic Services (MINES for Libraries) is an online, transaction-based survey that collects data on library-user demographics, the purpose of use, and the location of the user at point of use offered to the library community through StatsQUAL — a gateway of library assessment tools developed by the Association of Research Libraries.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 126 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.