Man engaging with library walking through

Reporting: a powerful tool to improve library engagement

In the tougher economic conditions post-pandemic, academic institutions everywhere are trimming costs. That puts library budgets under scrutiny, although researchers and students need access to library resources – and librarian support – more than ever. Senior business development manager, Christos Skoutas, says librarians who want to protect budgets, keep improving library engagement and services can find a useful ally in the OpenAthens reporting tool.

That’s because it offers clear, actionable insights into library engagement and effectiveness.

“With our reporting tool you can drill into the fine detail about how students and researchers are engaging with their library,”

Christos Skoutas, senior business development manager

Who uses resources? How often?

In the Asia Pacific region library budgets are often stretched thin. Libraries here are using our reporting tool to make sure every penny delivers value. For example, at Thammasat University in Thailand staff use it to identify which resources are being accessed. If something doesn’t look popular, librarians review its value: is it a vital resource that needs targeted promotion? Would it be better to cancel the subscription and invest the money elsewhere?

Or perhaps it is valuable but the library is paying a high cost per use? If that’s the case, our reporting tool can show it – and the library has evidence for contract renegotiations.

Quest International University in Malaysia and East West University in Bangladesh also use our reporting tool to support smarter buying decisions and improve library engagement. Our reporting tool allows librarians to look not just at how many uses a resource has, but also what department or course users are affiliated with. If something is only being accessed by one group of library patrons – nurses, for example, or environmental scientists – then OpenAthens can restrict access to them alone. The institution can renegotiate a lower subscription charge that reflects the much smaller user group. That brings savings to invest in new resources, service development and patron support.

Identify and resolve problems with access

All library users need professional support from time to time and our reporting tool allows library staff to monitor library use in real time. For example, it provides granular details about login attempts. You can explore when and where people access library resources, and in what numbers. You can also see which login efforts failed and what the problem was. If necessary, library staff can step in to resolve issues, either at individual level or for a larger cohort. This is often required now that large numbers of international students remain working in their home country.

Demonstrate value

“Timely, targeted interventions have a powerful, positive impact on student engagement and attainment,”

Christos Skoutas, senior business development manager

“You can even use our reporting tool to quantify that positive effect. It allows you to configure reporting modules to identify groups of people within a department or on a course. Then, you can track how much students with high levels of engagement outperform those without.”

“The visualizations help you make data-informed decisions about managing the library to meet students’ and researchers’ needs. And they can also show senior managers that library services represent money well spent.” Christos says.

Service design woman sketching

Find out more about our reporting API

For institutions that use additional analytic tools such as Tableau or Power BI, our reporting API can help you combine OpenAthens report data with other data within an external reporting system.

Find out more about our reporting API