Visualizing virtual users through art: Usage statistics in outreach and marketing

Alea Henle, Andrea Jaquez, Hannah Gray

Abstract

Most modern academic libraries have physical and virtual spaces—and patrons. Physical users can be hard to miss, but virtual users often leave only traces behind. It’s all too easy, and misleading, to assess library use based on bodies in chairs. While online resources provide statistics documenting use, these numbers may seem unreal to administrators and funding agencies. Western New Mexico University’s Miller Library designed an art installation, “A Year of Virtual Research,” as a large-scale physical data visualization project to make virtual library use more present and real to the university community.

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Copyright Alea Henle, Andrea Jaquez, Hannah Gray

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