Spring Stats at the Graduate Center Library

The key function of the Graduate Center Library, like any university library, is to provide members of the community with everything we can to support teaching and research. To support this effort, we also collect and compile information related to library services, collections, and usage. The ultimate objective is to apply the data to best meet the academic needs of our user  base. These conversations also offer insight into how we manage the upcoming C-Level CUNY 2020 renovation project, which will shift library access and occupancy. Recently, GC Library staff have compiled three separate tracking measures to detail library use.

Gate Count

As users of the library, you might like to learn about some recent statistics related to access and research. A primary statistic we maintain to track the number of visitors is a count at the front entrance. In April 2019 nearly 20,000 people walked through our gates: 19,972, to be exact. The daily average for the month was 689, and the busiest overall day was Tuesday, April 16th, with an impressive 1,060 users in one day! In comparison, Saturday, April 20th (the first full day of spring break), was the quietest day at the library, with only 152 users.

SHARES Program

Related statistics are the number and category of visitors unaffiliated with the Graduate Center. In April, 2,436 non-Graduate Center users entered  the library. The majority, 2,377, were students and/or employees of other CUNY campuses. A small number of people visited under the auspices of the SHARES program, a consortium of academic and museum libraries around the world detailed in a May 9th blog post. Last month we welcomed guests from local universities including Columbia, NYU, Princeton, and Fordham.

Ref Desk Stats

We sometimes collect Reference Desk statistics too! From October 2018 through February 2019, all librarians working at the desk tallied and categorized each question received from a patron. The grand total of questions counted during this period was 1,904. The category with the highest number of desk interactions was in-person reference (research-related) questions, with 523 (28% of the total). The second most frequently asked—394—were questions pertaining to Grad Center information technology (18%). Not all of the questions we received were asked inside the library building, though. Did you know that you can chat with us from off-campus? Online chats accounted for 221 (12%) of total queries. We encourage you to try it out!

The statistics discussed in this post are just a small sample of our comprehensive data collection efforts. Please stay tuned for future posts related to statistics involving collections and space!  

About the Author

Kate Angell is an Adjunct Reference Librarian at The Graduate Center.