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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Two articles to be published

Hello everyone. I am pleased to announce that two articles concerning the Library Data and Student Success project have been accepted for publication in portal: Libraries and the Academy. Both articles will be published in the April 2013 issue of the journal.

We have also posted the articles in the University of Minnesota institutional repository which means that you can view and read the articles now. Here are some links and abstracts.

Title: Analyzing Demographics: Assessing Library Use Across the Institution

Abstract: In Fall 2011, staff at the University of Minnesota Libraries-Twin Cities undertook a project to measure how often, and in what ways, students used the Libraries' services. Partnering with the University's Office of Institutional Research, the team investigated ways to match library service usage to individual accounts while retaining patron privacy to determine who was - and was not - using the library. With complete data sets, the group was able to determine overall usage rates for undergraduate and graduate students and compare how students in different colleges used library services. This article discusses data gathering techniques, analysis, and initial findings.

Title: Library Use and Undergraduate Student Outcomes: New Evidence for Students' Retention and Academic Success

Abstract: Academic libraries, like other university departments, are being asked to demonstrate their value to the institution. This study discusses the impact library usage has on the retention and academic success of first-time, first year undergraduate students at a large, public research university. Usage statistics were gathered at the University of Minnesota during the Fall 2011 semester for thirteen library access points. Analysis of the data suggests first-time, first-year undergraduate students who use the library have a higher GPA for their first semester and higher retention from fall to spring than non-library users.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.


  1. Before I push the "Retention and Academic Success" study down the throats of my Deans, could you let me know if your data applies to students whose first library use came as first semester UofM students? At Gogebic CC, 80-85% of our first year folks have never used a library. Our local high schools did away with them a decade ago and public library use approaches zero. If there is evidence that first-time library users also achieve success and have a higher return rate, I'd sure like to know about it.

  2. Interesting question, Walt. The data we gathered for the "Retention and Academic Success" article is only library use for first year students (and only their first semester) at the University of Minnesota. For some of these students, is it their first interaction with a library? It is possible, although our data does not get to that level of detail. I'm sure many of the students represented in the data had used a library before, whether in high school or a public library.
    I think the article still demonstrates the value of libraries for first year students, but maybe not in the same way you were hoping. Let me know what you decide to do, or if you have any other questions.