Consortia Collaborating on a Platform for Library Usage Statistics

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

PALCI and partnering library consortia are collaborating on a one-year planning grant to develop an open technology, prototype usage data platform for library consortia and their member libraries, for the collection, display and analysis of consortial library usage data. Partnering organizations include Jisc (UK), Couperin (France), Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA, USA), University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions (USMAI, USA), Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN, Canada), Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC, USA), and California Digital Library (CDL, USA).

The proof-of-concept platform will be built by adapting the source code of an existing proven consortial library usage data solution, the JUSP service (Jisc Usage Statistics Portal), originally developed by Jisc for higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. Jisc previously shared this same source code with Couperin in their efforts to develop a similar usage data service for French libraries (MESURE). The international library consortium community has overwhelmingly indicated through surveys and community feedback a desire and mission-critical need for a usage data platform/service to facilitate collection development/purchase decisions; yet, there are no scalable, widely-affordable existing solutions that meet the needs of consortia in the United States. Pending commercial solutions due to market in 2017 have major disadvantages, including the loss of highly valuable competitive intelligence information vital to library negotiations for electronic resources and content.

This project will be conducted between June 2017 and May 2018. During this time, PALCI and project partners, with the help of an experienced application developer, will adapt Jisc source code to create a proof-of-concept platform, evaluate and test the platform, and develop a report and plan with actionable next steps for future platform implementation, sustainability and service. The report, which will be delivered to the library consortium community through the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) meeting and communication channels, and via a project website, will provide recommendations and an opportunity for collective feedback.

This project aims to increase consortia and libraries’ economies of scale by further developing a community of interest in this area through increased collaboration on issues related to library usage data challenges, joint vendor problem resolution, and community-based technical development. The availability of a standards-based usage data platform for library consortia will result in libraries and consortia positioned to serve as exemplary stewards, empowered to make evidence-based decisions and better informed investments in electronic resources.