In recent years, changes to the higher education environment have prompted academic libraries to demonstrate evidence of their value and impact to stakeholders. To achieve this aim, visualising data is an effective way to deliver important messages about impact and value in a clear and persuasive way.
Library and Learning Services (LLS), Griffith University, plays a crucial role as a key centre for information, training, and services aimed at assisting client success and retention. Since Semester 1 2009, LLS has been collecting workshop and consultation data which details client engagement with LLS services. In addition, feedback forms from clients who had attended workshops and/or consultation services offered by LLS between March and September in 2014 were used to produce a range of visual representations to demonstrate the positive engagement of LLS with students.
There has been a positive response to LLS impact initiatives from high-level stakeholders, such as Heads of School and the Pro Vice Chancellor (Information Services), although visualised information has impacted mostly on the LLS and its team members. However, visualised information has more recently informed LLS operational planning and impact and reach advice for senior staff. Visual messages have influenced LLS team members’ practice, fuelling the redevelopment of some services and resources. Although there is little hard data to prove the actual extent of audience engagement with visual representations, the authors believe that academic library data has the potential to improve services and communication with stakeholders when it is presented in an easily understood format. While visualised information has engaged LLS in being aware, and working towards better services for clients, the next stage of the project is to find ways of measuring the degree of engagement with the actual visual products.
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