Developing an ISO 2789 compliant database for South African academic library statistics

20 Jul 2016

The use of statistical data in libraries is important in management and advocacy. Efficient and effective tools are essential in order to make better business and service decisions, to make the library more visible and increase user satisfaction. In the management of libraries operational statistical information is used to make important development and policy decisions. In the budgeting process the request for financial resources is often based on the need for statistics that show trends and performance in service delivery. Over a period of three years a statistics database was developed and tested by staff at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Libraries, Western Cape, South Africa and then extended to include interested libraries belonging to the national body, the Committee of Higher Education Libraries of South Africa (CHELSA). These two phases of the initiative represent two levels of database usage. This article outlines the basic principles of the two separate levels of the database as well as some more advanced features such as the alerts systems and available reports. It also provides an overview of the structure of the database and how the various data elements are linked within the database.