Our new Collection Performance tool – developed in close collaboration with a panel of librarians – is designed to deliver data that supports budgeting, acquisition decisions, and more. In this post, we explore the development, how it works and where you can access it.
“How can we use our data to help librarians in their work?” This was the question facing our Institutional Customer Engagement (ICE) team when they set out to explore tools they could develop to support libraries who subscribe to Springer Nature journals. Of course, who would know the answer to this better than librarians themselves? The team carried out interviews with librarians who held many roles – acquisition librarians, metadata librarians, library directors, subject librarians, and more – to help them understand where they could add the most value to librarians’ work.
"As a librarian, statistics are very important for decision making,” explained Blessing Chiparausha, University Librarian, Bindura University of Science Education, who was consulted during the development of the new tools. “For example, statistics on downloads, turnaways, time spent on a page, etc. are very important in making decisions about the resources to subscribe to and the training I should offer to my patrons.”
A collaboration with a panel of 17 librarians from around the world has led to the new Collection Performance tool which is now available within the Librarian Portal.
The new tools are the result of true partnership working between the development team here at Springer Nature and librarians. Ensuring that the tools deliver genuine value to librarians’ daily work.
“To me, and many here at Springer Nature, it feels important to spend our time and energy on building tools that make librarians’ lives better,” said Björn Johansson. “And the only way that we can know which problems are out there to be solved – and the only way we can know if we have built things well – is by engaging with librarians.”
Librarians were involved at every stage of the development process. From the very beginning, the team at Springer Nature worked with a group of librarians who helped to co-create the tool - by explaining their workflows, conducting usability tests and even sketching some of the initial mockups.
The feedback from librarians who were part of this work has been incredibly positive. With many saying they appreciated the chance to influence how we spend our development and design resources.
“Previewing new features and dashboards made me aware of the different capabilities,” said Bonnie Nelson, Proposal & Information Specialist at RTI International in Durham, North Carolina. “The process was easy, as Bjorn was positive and encouraging. It made me feel as if my input was valued and would be considered seriously in the final product. Budgets are tight so an easy way to see what’s being used, what’s not, and what could/should be is crucial these days. The dashboard makes that easy to do.”
“We have honed in on three main workflows that we hope the new tools will help with”, explained Björn Johansson, Senior Product Manager at Springer Nature. The three areas are: