March 8-10 Hyatt Regency Crystal City
Arlington, VA
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Thursday, March 10, 2016

C304: Big Data Exploration for Libraries

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Sarah Bratt, Research Assistant, Syracuse University
Kusturie Moodley, Acquisitions & Electronic Resources Librarian, Durban University of Technology
Chad Harper, Principal, HarperAMH, LLC Managing Partner, Lithic Digitization and Archive Services

Rapid change. Dynamic communities. Real-time results. Drilling, digging, and sifting are no longer reserved for pickaxe- wielding miners; these are the tools at the “lab” of the modern information professional. With more than 9,309 records for U.S. public libraries in 2013 alone, unearthing gold—insight into your library, activities, and patrons—begins with understanding how to do quick-and-dirty data mining by finding, analyzing, and visualizing relevant datasets. Speakers discuss tools such as the statistical analysis tool R (free, open source), MS Excel, heatmaps, geographic visualization, and more. They also share studies and analysis of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) public library survey data from 1992–2013, analyzing U.S. trends from resource acquisition and bookmobiles to staff salaries and number of ALA-M.S.L.I.S. degree-holding librarians. Future research is aimed at integrating census data and creating a toolkit specially tailored to enable the analysis of public library and free open national data so public libraries too can continue transforming business insights into actionable library ethos. Speakers also report findings from analyzing network structures of three 2015 academic conference tweet networks (CIL DC, IFLA, and SAA), combining approaches of information retrieval, text mining, and network analysis. This ensemble of techniques is a methodological step forward in the information science community, understanding internal information-sharing practices as well as a means of arriving at insight with multimodal methods for analysis of Twitter data from academic conferences.

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