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Stats in the Stacks: Dater, Datter, Doesn't Matter

One of my junior high school shop class teachers (Yes, I took one shop class. We made a tiny turbine using copper wire and an empty thread spool), used to utter the phrase: “Dater, datter, doesn’t matter” when talking about technology. It stuck with me because it’s sounds funny and I like wordplay, but it also turns out to be pretty darn true. Data is information taken down on paper or as pixels (doesn’t matter which or how you say it!), and it can help you out.

You already know you should be keeping a tally of how many visitors you have coming to your archives, what kinds of research requests are coming in, and what the temperature of your storage room is on a daily basis. But do you know how to use that data once you have it? Here are a few examples from my own experiences, plus a few more types of data you could keep an eye on.

How Many People Visit My Archives?

This is a pretty easy count for me since my Archives are small, part of a larger organization not primarily focused on hist…

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