Hsin-liang Chen, Long Island University
Philip Doty, University of Texas at Austin
Carol Mollman, Washington University
Xi Niu, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Jen-chien Yu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Tao Zhang, Purdue University
Emerging technologies have offered libraries and librarians new ways and methods to collect and analyze data in the era of accountability to justify their value and contributions. For example, Gallagher, Bauer and Dollar (2005) analyzed the paper and online journal usage from all possible data sources and discovered that users at the Yale Medical Library preferred the electronic format of articles to the print version. After this discovery, they were able to take necessary steps to adjust their journal subscriptions. Many library professionals advocate such data-driven library management to strengthen and specify library budget proposals, for example (Dando, 2014).
As libraries are offering more online resources and services, librarians are able to use emerging tools (i.e., analytics software) to collect more online data. Meanwhile, many libraries are using social media outlets (e.g., Facebook, Instagram) to promote their services and programs. Consequently, those social media outlets collect and own library user data. Several social scientists and librarians raise questions regarding the collection and availability of social media data. Conley and his colleagues (2015) are concerned about what they identify as three important threats to social scientists’ collection and use of big data: privatization, amateurization, and Balkanization regarding research support and funding opportunities.
Because libraries must assess their resources and services to support data-driven decisions, this panel will focus on the perspectives and future agenda of library data analysis/assessment in the big data era. The topics to be discussed are data assessment techniques and development, academic library management and practice, as well as legal and policy issues related to information security and privacy that educational analytics and big data give rise to.
In examining the challenges of data collection and analysis, this panel will pose and address a number of questions, including:
1. What are the challenges of applying Big Data in the academic library world?
2. What are some of the emerging trends of analyzing big data in the libraries?
3. How can we thoroughly address the ethical issues surrounding the use of data sources and sets?