Claremont Colleges Library

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-20-2015


Library headcounts are tedious, time-consuming, and subject to the vagaries of scheduling, attention to detail, and incomplete (especially for consortia). If we conduct them perfectly, on-schedule without fail we can gather at best the number of patrons seated in various areas of the library at two arbitrary times per day. We don't know their home campus. We don't know how patronage varies by time of day. If only there was an automatic way of conducting counts that was automatic, unsleeping, and could differentiate between campuses The wireless infrastructure is (hopefully) always on, and devices are nearly ubiquitous, and typically signed in to campus accounts 24x7. What if we could use it to count building usage? What if it could differentiate patrons by campus, by device type and operating system, tell us how long the patrons remained in the building? But how ubiquitous are devices and are they really always logged in and isn't that a massive invasion of privacy? Yes, they really are and this presentation will demonstrate that the patron privacy can be protected.


Presented at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Library Association in San Francisco. Speakers Notes are included as Annotations in the PDF. They include much more detail.

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© 2015 Sam Kome

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.