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Monthly Archives: April 2016


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Analytics: Circulation Activity Comparison Tool

In January, we introduced you to a CUNY OLS dashboard showing usage of our main library systems. That dashboard continues to be updated each month and we recently improved it, giving it in a new look and providing more school-specific detail.

Now we have a fun new offering: the Circulation Activity Comparison Tool!

Circulation Activity Comparison Tool
Circulation Activity Comparison Tool showing 2 fiscal years and highlighting loans


  • Select Date Type to change the view from monthly to display by weekdays or by hours
  • Click on a single Event Type to view only one type of circulation event: Loans, Returns, or Requests
  • The title of each chart will change automatically to display the current selections for that chart
  • Remove all filter selections by clicking Reset at the left under the charts
  • Remove your last filter selection by clicking Undo in the same location
  • Includes data from Fiscal Years 2014, 2015, and 2016 (through March 2016)
  • Filter by a single SubLibrary or an entire Library (select all relevant SubLibraries in the drop-down selection box)
  • Click on the Loans line (or Returns or Requests) to display that line’s transaction counts (as we did in the above image)
  • Fiscal Year and SubLibrary selections are applied to one chart only
  • Select Date Type and other selections are applied to both charts

Using this tool, you can easily

  • Check your library’s peak hours for loans, returns, and requests
  • View your library’s traffic by day of the week
  • Compare 2 Fiscal Years by selecting different years on the left and right
  • Compare 2 Libraries (select all SubLibraries for one on the left and for another on the right)
  • Compare 2 SubLibraries
  • Mix and match


OLS is currently using Tableau Public’s free service to bring you this information. Check the Tableau Public Status page if you can’t access our OLS dashboards.

We owe a huge thank you to Jennifer Murray at SUNY Buffalo for sharing not only their Tableau dashboard but also the logic used to create it. This allowed us to build on the work they did and adapt it to our needs at CUNY.  In that same spirit, the logic we used appears below.

Technical Details

The data source is the Aleph Z35 Events table.

The selected fields are: Time Stamp (includes date, hour), Date (formatted), SubLibrary, and Circulation Event Type (groups 1 or more related events together)

Circulation Event Type Criteria

  • Loan: selected loan transactions
  • Return: return transactions
  • Requests: hold request transactions

Other Details

  • Limit to certain transaction types
  • Limit transaction dates to the 2 previous fiscal years plus the current fiscal year (July 2013-current date)
  • The order-by option is not required and merely makes the output easily scannable
  • The output is tab-delimited


set heading off
set pause off
set pagesize 0
set linesize 2900
set colsep |
select z35_time_stamp || chr(9) || substr( z35_event_date, 5, 2) || '/' || 
substr( z35_event_date, 7, 2) || '/' || substr( z35_event_date, 1, 4)
 || chr(9) || Z35_SUB_LIBRARY || chr(9) ||  ( CASE
WHEN z35_event_type IN ('50','56') THEN 'LOAN'
WHEN z35_event_type in ('61') THEN 'RETURN'
WHEN z35_event_type in ('71','72','73','74') THEN 'REQUEST'
from xxx50.z35  -- where 'xxx' is your library prefix
where z35_event_type in ('50','56','61','71','72','73','74')
and z35_event_date > '20130630'
and z35_event_date < '20160401'
order by z35_time_stamp

How To | Dynamic feedback links in Digital Commons documents

At the beginning of this year, we announced a new feature in our institutional repository: a feedback form. It’s used to gather input from users of the repository to understand how access to these works benefits them:

Screenshot of a Digital Commons title page, with a feedback link in the footer circled in red

If you’re running a repository using bepress’s Digital Commons and want to implement this feature, read on!

Popular OneSearch Searches: March 2016

The following is a list of the top OneSearch search term at each campus (and the CUNY-wide OneSearch instance) between 03/01/2016 and 03/31/2016, organized by the number of times the query had been searched at that library:

  • “social media” (275)
  • 50 essays (169)
  • “thirty years war” (112)
  • jane austin (103)
  • phillips “urban social work” (86)
  • “gun control” (84)
  • room key (83)
  • adhd / children / education (79)
  • the irish holocaust (63)
  • carolyn rovee-collier (61)
  • social mobility / united states (57)
  • factory workers (54)
  • souls of black folk (43)
  • soylent green (38)
  • water (37)
  • poverty / poor / accountant* (31)
  • youth video games (26)
  • college readiness (23)
  • english only (18)
  • asian american career development: a qualitative analysis (10)
  • america dancing (7)
  • “cambridge associates” (4)

(The slashes indicate that the keywords were entered into individual search boxes on the Advanced Search screen.)

When we performed the top search in that library’s instance of OneSearch, we found some interesting audiovisual material, including a lot of news coverage about the role of social media during natural disasters (such as Hurricane Sandy) and social revolutions (such as the Arab Spring).

If you haven’t explored all that OneSearch has to offer, what are you waiting for!?

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