Congrats to Jannette Finch for her recent article! - College of Charleston Libraries

April 14, 2010
Featured Library Staff

Congrats to Jannette Finch for her recent article on Measuring  Effectiveness in a Virtual Library, published in the Journal of Web Librarianship.


Measuring quality of service in academic libraries traditionally includes quantifiable data such as collection size, staff counts, circulation numbers, reference service statistics, qualitative analyses of customer satisfaction, shelving accuracy, and building comfort. In the libraries of the third millennium, virtual worlds, Web content and remote customer populations mean that traditional measures of quality service are no longer complete. Applying methods to quantify effectiveness is vital to future success, and is a necessary precursor to examining quality of service. This case study of a small, virtual academic library, created to serve a non-traditional student population, faculty, and community, illustrates the use of measures such as the saturation rate of student population, the percentage of bibliographic sessions and orientations compared to number of courses offered, and Web site traffic patterns. As library services are affected by factors such as self-sufficient customers, declining physical collections, staff cuts, and increases in virtual traffic, all types of academic libraries may find it useful to implement the relatively uncomplicated data analysis explored in this article, in addition to established methodologies.

Keywords: virtual libraries; Web site analytics; effective service; quality of service; virtual environment; saturation rate; statistics

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