Thing 25: Infographics & Data Visualization

Regardless of the buzz about infographics I still had a hard time figuring out just how I would use them. Infographic creators are always raving about how useful they are but at first glance many of them seem busy and overwhelming. While hunting for my current library job I created an infographic resume after working through Thing 24.  Once I had a clear vision for what I needed the rest came together.

Then it was back to the attitude of “I just don’t get infographics”.Until the conversation came up about annual reports at a recent Library Tech Conference (Hi Polly 🙂  leading me back to Thing 25: Infographics & Data Visualization Now I have a data need  Find a tool to add a visual depiction of the results of our current weeding project/current state of the collection.  The article When and How to Create an Effective Infographic” confirmed that I have a data need and helped clarify my thinking about where I needed to go with it. 

Step 1: Identify goal ages for the collection. I based our goals off the book Less is More: A Practical Guide to Weeding School Library Collections by Donna J. Baumbach and Linda L. Miller.

Step 2: Gather the data of our current collection.  For this I used the TitleWise Collection analysis report.

Step 3: Put both groups of data into a spreadsheet. I put way more data into the spreadsheet that we will EVER include in our annual report but the purpose of this visualization is threefold.  Show where we’ve been and where we are and  drive where we are going.

Step 4: Find a tool to show the data the way it is useful to my audience. Seriously, I even sketched it out on paper.

After looking at many “high tech” tools I realized that for the data I had Excel is truly the best tool to present my data in a meaningful way.  Below is what I came up with. It is a long way from done but you can see that through our weeding project we have improved the age of our collection. The 630s, Agriculture and Domestic Animals, are at an acceptable age.  Our most outdated section appears to be the 640s”Family, cooking home economics”. I left the Dewey numbers off the chart because those are only important to us, not necessarily our stakeholders.

Average%20age%20by%20areaSo I guess I didn’t create an infographic, but I did create the beginnings to a very useful a data visualization that could be inserted into an infographic.  On to more……..


About Kim Nemeth

Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a High School Library Media Specialist in beautiful Saratoga Springs New York. I am an avid reader and am addicted to learning. This blog was originally started as part of the Cool Tools for Schools project in 2012. Since then I have continued to participate in Cool Tools for Schools and add my thoughts here. I found this blog to be an excellent place to refer to when I needed an idea or had a tick mark in my head and needed a reminder. I would love comments and feedback on my posts. Enjoy!
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1 Response to Thing 25: Infographics & Data Visualization

  1. So good to see the chart you came up with. That clearly shows the progress, but also shows that the collection is still falling short of the goal. And great that you sketched on paper. I do that all the time!

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