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Hello all, this seems like a good time for a brief round-up of what we learned during the two Affiliation Statistics months this year. If you don’t remember (and how couldn’t you?), those were October and March, when we went around asking you all what programs you happened to be from. It’s always an interesting project when we do it, and I always enjoy showing you some of what we learned.

For instance,  the breakdown of days! The way we do the actual survey involves some randomization and scattering around the month, but we make sure to get each day of the week included. In the past, Wednesday has been the busiest day of the week at Hirsh, and that held out in the March count, but in October, Monday was the busiest! There are many different reasons this happens, including class schedules, exam schedules, and even weather patterns. It does help us understand our patron needs, though, which is one more way we can help you all out.

Now, obviously we didn’t go around and ask you about what school you were from just so we could show you this chart of what days of the week are more popular. No, what you may really want to see is the breakdown of which program had the most people here to count, and here you go! The answer…well, probably won’t surprise you, but it’s still fun to look at!

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Well would you look at that! Medical students and Dental students were the largest population in the library! Unlike past years, it appears there are more MD students studying in the Library, and I have a theory on that: seating. One thing I’ve noticed in the past from other statistics posts and round-ups, particularly when doing the end-of-year, is that our Medical students tend to prefer quiet space for studying. This past year, the Hirsh Library has exponentially increased the amount of available study space on the 7th floor – the quietest of the study floors – and then this happened. That March bar corresponds rather well with 2nd years preparing for their Step exams, too.

Is this a direct causation, or a happenstance correlation? As much as I’d like to say it’s causation, I’m cautious about claiming that. Then again, as the movie Field of Dreams once said, “Build it and they will come.” So who knows!

For the record, we’ve also recorded a drop-off for PA, PHPD, and MBS from October to March. But we’re seeing people from the other Tufts programs and all our various other affiliates here in larger numbers. Remember that everybody in the Tufts Community is welcome here all the same! Hirsh is for all of you.

Now the best way to see how good my guess about the extra study space is, of course, is to do something like, say, look at which floors were the busiest. But I’d have to have all that data handy and be able to put it in a totally different chart.

 

Good. News.

Click to en-full-size-en

Okay. Full disclosure: I always knew it would look like this. The 7th floor is crazy popular. We collect data year-round (which I will be discussing in a post a few months from now, for an end-of-year wrap-up), and one thing I have noticed is that the 7th floor is consistently twice the populous of any other floor. Twice! Which makes sense when you stop and think about it: it’s got the most of all kinds of study space, and is somehow still the quietest floor of the lot.

I think I speak for everyone here when I say: I’m glad you like it so much!

That’s all for now. Good luck with the remainder of your exams, and I’ll see you back here this summer for the big wrap up, when I talk about some interesting numbers (like busiest days) and how this year stacks up against years past!

-Tom-

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It is April of 2016, which means now is a great time to look at the Hirsh Library School Affiliation Survey from March and see how it compares to the one from October. Let’s get started!

School Total

First thing is first: PHPD has rocked up in numbers! Dental has traditionally been the most frequently counted school in this survey, but this is the first time that Medical has been dethroned as 2nd place. And look at the number differences: The difference from first to second place is 21 people, and the difference of second to third is 15. That’s ridiculous! We are very busy people here at HHSL.

“But Tom, what about Circ this time around? Does that match up to what we’re seeing here?” Oh, of course not. As you can see here:

Circ

Medical keeps their hold on the highest circulation of the week. However, what’s truly interesting is the strong showing of the PHPD programs and Nutrition. Look at those numbers! As someone whose whole job revolves around circulation at this library, it’s very exciting to see the growing interest in all programs across the board.

It is, generally, at this point that I go and show you something like a breakdown of the schools by floor. And therefore, I’m going to do that right now!Floors

The 7th floor is, undoubtedly, the monarch of the floors. Look at that. Medical, Dental (by a massive margin) and Sackler/PHPD programs (by a smaller but still strong margin) all love themselves the 7th floor. I still find it interesting, though, that for Dental it’s 7th and then 5th, but for Medical it’s 7th and then 6th. A difference in study habits, perhaps – Dental students might be more interested in group rooms, whereas the Medical students are looking for singular study spaces (like small tables and study carrels). It would account for the 7th floor’s popularity with both, and then the difference in second favorite.

Nutrition seems to be much more interested in being able to talk – the openness of the 5th floor (and its collaboration rooms), followed by the room-heavy 7th.

And this is where we run into a limitation with the way we’ve been doing this survey: combining PA, PHPD, MBS, and Sackler all into one category. We know that the MBS program has been growing each year, and we know that the PA program has been growing. And PHPD encapsulates a number of other degree programs. Sadly, until now, I haven’t been able to distinguish between them when looking at this survey.

Going forward, however, I’ll be able to! We’re working on some back-end adjusting of how we collect all of this data, so that way we can be much more accurate across the board while going forward. After all, accuracy leads to knowledge, and knowledge is what we’re striving for here! I’m not sure anyone at HHSL was quite prepared for the way our numbers have exploded over the last couple years, so we’re playing a bit of catch-up in a few areas to make sure we can still serve the needs of our entire community!

But you’re probably wondering how March measures up against our October Affiliation count. It looks something like this:

Schools 2

It looks a lot like that! That’s surprising, kind of. Right? I mean, that is a lot of people. A. Lot. I find it interesting that Medical and Dental jumped so high (Boards and the infamous Dental Exam Block probably had a bit to do with that), but the PHPD programs dropped a little, and Nutrition bumped up slightly. Now what about the floors? How do those look?

Floors 2

They look busy is what they look like. Every single floor got busier! This, of course, comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody – it’s a well known fact that we’re busier in the spring than the fall (fun fact! Currently, October is the busiest month, followed by March, and February. April is traditionally the outright busiest of the year, however, so we’ll have to see how things turn out). But still, it’s kind of cool to see that each floor went up by just about the same proportion across the board. That’s ridiculous. That’s not supposed to happen in the real world! And yet, here we are.

Finally, we have the weekdays:

Weekdays

As you may have realized by now, I deal with a ton of statistics during the year. The red bars you see above most closely resemble the regular, month-by-month bell curve of how busy each day of the week is. The busiest day of the week might shift a bit between Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, but in general? It looks like that. Like a bell curve. But the blue! October did something unique, and dipped right in the middle of the week.

It’s worth noting: neither of these weeks had any major exams, and neither week had any holidays. They were chosen for both of those reasons. Perhaps that Wednesday in October was unseasonably nice, and everyone just really needed to be outside? Can’t say I blame them.

So there you have it! Our Affiliation Stats round-up. I’m already looking forward to doing some of the year-end numbers, and finding out just how crazy busy HHSL has been in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look at something other than Excel for a few hours. Perhaps a few days.

Tom

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