Growing patron engagement and library services are top priorities. You've invested in resources, strategy, promotional activities, social media, and other practices to attract students, teachers, researchers, and people within your community. The difficulty, however, is sustaining that growth and finding ways to increase usage. Effective resource utilization is a must for educational and public libraries, and we're here to help you be successful.

Why Utilization Is Important

Resource utilization is the process of strategically measuring how effective resources are for those who use them. You can create a framework for assessing the quality of your resources to help you project their effectiveness and discover what library users need. If people aren't currently using the digital resources your library has invested in, it will become increasingly harder in the future to justify to stakeholders why your library wants to add more focused resources to support learners in a meaningful way.

Data-driven resources like Gale Analytics and Gale Engage can help you better understand your audience and how to reach them. These library marketing and management tools use powerful demographic visualizations to inform planning, programming, collection development, marketing, and more. You can utilize data to understand the efficiency of your library services and attract more users to your library. 

Improving Resource Utilization

Your library can improve upon how effectively your e-resources (e.g., databases, archives, e-books) are being utilized. To help you reach your goals and become a valuable partner in your learning community, we've put together key information you can use today, including 3 tips to promote library usage, valuable marketing materials to build awareness of library resources, and free, on-demand training webinars

3 Tips for Librarians

1. Ask for feedback

The first step is clearly identifying your users' needs. This may involve conducting a survey or sitting down one-on-one with patrons to learn how you can create or change library services to better meet their needs. Be direct and transparent about how you will use this discussion to ensure your resources are being used to improve their learning and teaching experience. 

2. Take an inventory of your resources

Once you have a good amount of feedback and have highlighted trending requests, assess all of the resources that will help to meet those needs. Be thorough and avoid assumptions. Assign a dedicated in-house librarian or consider bringing in a qualified resource manager to help. As you go through your inventory, you'll likely discover holes in your library's current offerings. Make a wish list and prioritize based on the feedback you received. 

3. Leverage free tools and support from 

As a Gale customer, you have 24/7 access to Gale Support. Simply enter your Location ID and browse by product to find support materials. You'll also find quick links to create customized MARC Records, direct URLs you can share with patrons, virtual learning tips for instructors, training tools to help you take usage of Gale resources to the next level, promotional materials, marketing strategies, and more. 

Build Awareness & A Customizable Marketing Strategy 

Download ready-to-use, eye-catching, customizable materials to drive awareness of your Gale resources. You can promote internally, online, through press releases, email, and other communications. This will help you increase engagement with your learners, further the investment of your resources, and reach more patrons by creating unique, topical content. 

Live training is also available. You can register for a live session, many as quick as 15 minutes, or watch recorded webinars at your convenience. We have a wide selection of on-demand webinars that will help you and your librarians become experts at promoting library resources and guiding patrons who need help using digital resources.