Clearinghouse for Library and Information Center Networked Statistics to be Established

At present, there is a lack of coordinated effort to identify, access, maintain, and update statistics and related data that describe libraries and information center use, users, services, and resources in the networked environment. Data are available from a number of sources such as the federal government, states, regional associations, professional associations, and local libraries. Many of the key data sources for developing such a Clearinghouse come from publishers, database vendors and aggregators - some of which are working with the Information Institute to provide improved data for analysis and assessment. These sources, however, often do not coordinate or integrate these data, thus limiting vendors, policy makers, library professionals and others to gain an overall understanding of the use and users of library networked services and resources.

The Information Institute has established, as a priority, the development of a National Clearinghouse for Library and Information Center Networked Statistics. Objectives include:

  • Conduct demonstration projects to test the feasibility of new or developing networked statistics and measures;
  • Establish working groups among vendors, librarians, and other key experts to explore and resolve key issues;
  • Provide downloadable analysis tools to enable librarians, researchers, and others to integrate and compare a range of vendor, federal, state, and other library and information center data - including but not limited to Census, NTIA, NCES, PLDS, State Library and other resources;
  • Participate in the development of standards (national and international) related to networked statistics and measures;
  • Provide education and training on the development, use, and implementation of networked statistics and measures;
  • Work with interested organizations to better coordinate activities related to networked statistics and measures including, libraries, publishers and database vendors, professional associations, and others;
  • Organize regular meetings and seminars to discuss networked statistics and measures among interested organizations, libraries, publishers and database vendors, professional associations, and others;
  • Share information regarding recent developments and activities related to networked statistics and measures among interested individuals, organizations and the information industry through a public website;
  • Field test possible network statistics and measures as to their feasibility and applications in various library and information center settings; and
  • Maintain an informative and interactive Website to facilitate information sharing, education, knowledge, and issues related to networked statistics and measures.

In addressing these objectives, the Clearinghouse supports the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) statement of December, 2001 regarding Guidelines for Statistical Measures of Usage of Web-Based Information Resources (especially those related to privacy and user confidentiality and Institutional/Consortia confidentiality) as described at: (

Accomplishing these objectives will have significant impacts for the library community and information industry in its efforts to better plan for, deploy, manage, and evaluate the use and impact of networked information services and resources. In addition, the Clearinghouse can serve as a key resource in assisting national, state, federal policy makers, and other parties in assessing the impact and use of networked services and determining the types of programs that require support to enhance the effectiveness of these networked services. Regardless of the type of library setting, the development and standardization of networked statistics should be coordinated across all types of libraries, with national data collection agencies (such as those in state and local governments) and with all vendors and aggregators to be successful.

The Information Institute will increase its consultation with librarians, state library officials, federal policy makers, vendors and other industry professionals, and others to better understand their data needs and expectations related to networked statistics. Then the Institute will begin the process of identifying the various datasets that could be included in the Clearinghouse, determining the degree to which these datasets can be linked, and exploring how best they might be organized and made accessible in a coherent and coordinated fashion. The Clearinghouse plans to develop software and data analysis "toolkits" to assist users of networked statistics.

A number of products and services will be made available to Clearinghouse sponsors on a regular basis. These include:

  • Membership on the advisory committee;
  • Regular newsletter, updates, and status reports;
  • One-on-one briefing sessions;
  • Federal and state policy analyses;
  • Usability assessment of vendor products and services;
  • Previews of Clearinghouse software and other products;
  • Updates on trends and issues related to network statistics, to include definitional changes and statistics changes/additions; and
  • Analysis of data collection requirements for various national and state library surveys regarding network statistics.

Products and services and Clearinghouse objectives will be adjusted to reflect member interest and changing opportunities as they present themselves. The Clearinghouse will also provide customized reports and analyses for sponsors and others on an "on-demand" basis and for an additional fee.

EBSCO Publishing, The National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), and National Information Standards Organization (NISO) are current sponsors of the Clearinghouse. The Information Institute is seeking additional partners from the information industry and library community to support and develop the Clearinghouse. Organizations, publishers, vendors, and other industry and library leaders may sponsor the Clearinghouse at various levels based upon an annual contribution.

Sponsorship levels begin at $10,000 and continue to $25,000 per year. Additional information about these levels, and the products and services associated with each, is available from Dr. Charles R. McClure, Director,