It is well known that libraries do great work and provide essential services to their users and communities. What is less well known is the impact that our work and services have on the lives of people we serve.
Data reveals much about the impact of our work, and is a crucial part of advocacy because it helps us tell compelling stories. Data is crucial to our understanding of what services our users want and how to develop new services to meet new needs. Using data to evaluate the impact of our services is essential to our stewardship of tax dollars.
Libraries continue to grow in how they interpret and use data. RAILS created the Data in Libraries Pulse Page to provide resources and support libraries in understanding, using, and sharing data. We plan to update these pages regularly, so if you know of any resource, report, or event that is missing feel free to suggest it.
Reports, Dashboards, and Maps
- RAILS Map Portal
- List of Illinois Libraries - filter and download lists of Illinois libraries from L2 directory.
- RAILS Resource Sharing Map (2019) - PDF map of RAILS library service areas colored by consortium.
- Illinois Census Quick Facts Dashboard - review statewide data from the Census Quick Facts. Compare information by system, county, and Notice of Funding Opportunity region.
- Public IPLAR Dashboard and Feedback form - Explore popular IPLAR data to identify peer libraries and use for library advocacy. Request other data reports using the feedback form.
- IPLAR Dashboard: Core Stats - Browse data including "core" library stats and measures to better understand ways to make IPLAR data more actionable. Used in the RAILS CE program from June 6, 2023 - Beyond Core Stats: A Deeper Look into Using IPLAR Data to Assess Your Library's Performance
- BiblioBoard Report for Members - View and download BiblioBoard usage data. (Last updated - 9/1/2023)
- eRead Inventory for IPLAR - View up-to-date inventory counts based on your library's fiscal year end date. (Last updated - 7/1/2023; Next update - 1/1/2024)
- Reopening Survey Dashboard (map)... Submission Form - review results and compare peer libraries' reopening status.
Deals & Discounts for Data Analytics
- Gale Analytics - merges the library's ILS data with Mosaic segmentation from Experian, and other data sets, to evolve the way libraries do business and to help them make more informed decisions.
- OpenGov - provides a platform to share your story with data driven context, connect with your community on topics that matter most and directly involve residents in decision making processes.
- Patron Point - allows libraries to automate their day-to-day customer messaging and enhance their marketing into high-impact targeted campaigns.
- OrangeBoy - a community engagement platform that lets you understand your customers needs in real-time, allowing you to deliver the services and lifelong learning opportunities that will help your community thrive, now and in the future.
- ConverSight myLIBRO Insights - Data analytics platform - aggregates data collected through the ILS, door counters, resource usage, financial systems and other datasets and makes it accessible through a simple request, producing insights, reports and dashboards. Think of it as Google or Siri for your library's data.
- Vendor Privacy Policies Project - includes links to privacy policies for third-party vendors that provide digital content to participating RAILS public libraries. All Vendor Privacy Policies.