In our ongoing eGathering profile series, we go one-on-one with each of our speakers to gain more insight into their professional background, areas of expertise, and presentation topic through short 5 question interviews.
Robert Boissy has spent 12 years at Springer in a variety of roles, most recently as Account Development Manager. In his eGathering presentation, Referrals Analysis: LYRASIS in Cross-Section and in Aggregate provides insight into web analytics, and offers participants a better understanding about how users are finding their way to resources. Register for the eGathering today to hear more from Robert Boissy and our other speakers.
How did you wind up working in and with libraries?
My first job after college I was working in Berea, KY and studying for my GREs in the College Library, and I realized I would like a library life. I got my MLS at SUNY Albany, worked at an IBM Library in the Hudson Valley, and eventually had a choice between working in an academic library and working for a subscription agent. I chose the subscription agent path and have been in the vendor community my whole career, but always working closely with my librarian colleagues.
How do you stay motivated when working on a project?
Owing to a second advanced degree in Information Studies at Syracuse University, I am driven by the same research goals that drive everyone in higher education – discovering new things about the way the world works, and devising new ways to make our information environment better. I have always sought to present my findings in public meetings and in the written literature. Very often I need initial coaxing to take on a new presentation or writing assignment, but it always feels good when the project is done.
What do you view as the primary objective of your work?
At the current time I am very invested in making sure libraries continue to evolve in many ways to remain in a central role with scholarly communication. To this end, I look at various marketing, promotional, educational and technical means to optimize the use of scholarly resources within organizations, and quantitatively evaluate which methods are working.
Why are you excited to speak at the LYRASIS eGathering?
I have a large data set of LYRASIS library web analytics relating to user preferences for getting to Springer STM resources that I want to discuss. The data speaks to the way LYRASIS libraries are geared up on the discovery side to promote usage of licensed resources. And the data goes against some well publicized opinions regarding the lack of centrality of library-engineered finding tools in the overall discovery mix.
What is your best piece of advice for analyzing usage statistics?
My best piece of advice is to engage with your publishers and vendors to see if you are exploring all the ways of looking at usage that might give insight into efficiency and effectiveness of discovery at your institution. For example, referring sites that drive a lot of “traffic” might be nice, but what if that traffic results in few downloads? Referrals that drive downloads presumably have more impact on research. Also, what does more traffic to a site each year mean? Which referring sources are driving journals traffic/downloads and which are driving books traffic/downloads? I would like reference/instruction and assessment librarians involved in the usage discussion, as well as collection development and tech services. At the end of the day, e-resource use and related services will make (not break) the entire modern library, as circulation, print volume counts, and gate counts once did.
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