COUNTER (Counting Online Usage of Networked Electronic Resources) statistics are a ubiquitous measure of electronic collections, and are often seen as a vital part of collection assessment. In practice there are many barriers to their usage, ranging from technical issues in gathering them to finding a way to make sure that the data reported is appropriate and understandable. This presentation will begin with an overview of library metrics, how they developed, and the role that COUNTER statistics play in that progression. We then plan to show ways that COUNTER statistics can be used, including for assessment, promotion, policies, and troubleshooting. The session will also cover the practical aspects of gathering and reporting, and identify best practices and common problems. We will also identify cases where it is better to use other or additional metrics in order to create reports that are most relevant for decision making. By the end of the presentation participants should have a firm understanding of what COUNTER reports are, how they are used, and methods for using them efficiently and effectively.
Georgia Libraries Conference presentation, Columbus, Georgia, October 4-6, 2017