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Health Sciences and Medical Librarianship | Library and Information Science


Background: In January 2018, library services at Providence Health/Swedish and St. Joseph Health merged to form a single, unified system, incorporating nine libraries and sixteen full-time staff. We faced several challenges in collecting and reporting service statistics, including the disparate methods of our legacy organizations, the variation in services offered at different libraries, and our large geographic spread. Our merged library serves patrons in seven states, and much of our work, including communication with patrons and each other, is conducted over email.

Description: We chose a tool, REDCap, early in our process. REDCap is easy to use and allowed us to build a web form that would be accessible on site and off, and regardless of legacy organization. REDCap allows for quick and easy reporting, facilitating our annual infographic and allowing us, for the first time, to produce monthly usage reports.

One librarian compiled a list of items that had been tracked at each hospital library. We then convened a small task force to decide what information we would collect and at what level of detail. This group included representatives each legacy organization. We considered issues such as accurate representation of the various services performed at each site and usefulness for reporting out. We then built a sample form and invited all team members to test it for one month.

Conclusion: Our REDCap form for statistics collection went live on April 1, 2018. The form is simple to use, and REDCap’s branching logic functions allow us to collect detailed information without making the form unwieldy. Occasional communication and retraining for our team has been necessary, to ensure that fields in the form are understood and used consistently. Finally, we are using our reports to assess and further refine the form for 2019. Some fields, such as the purpose of a request, are rarely used and may be eliminated, while new fields may be added in consultation with the team.


Library Science

Conference / Event Name

Medical Library Association Annual Meeting


Chicago, IL, United States

Using REDCap to Collect Library Service Statistics in a Large Health System