Back to School: A Week in Numbers

Fall semester began last Monday August 22, so I thought I’d share some numbers from the website.

Eight days a week – if it’s good enough for the Fab Four, it’s good enough for me.

Monday August 22 – Monday August 29

Overall: 79, 836 pageviews

Google Analytics dashboard data - Aug 2016

That dip you see? Saturday. And, you might be able to just make out the top browser: Chrome.

Top 10 pages
  1. Homepage – 16,909 hits (21% traffic)
  2. Fall 2016 Ensemble Information – 4091 (5%)
  3. Music Library – 3210 (4%)
  4. PED (Performing Ensembles Division, Music) – 3066 (3.8%)
  5. A-Z List of Resources – 1710 (2%)
  6. Student Jobs at the Libraries – 1631 (2%)
  7. Herman B Wells Library – 1313 (1.6%)
  8. Hours – 990 (1.2%)
  9. Education Library – 942 (1%)
  10. Business/SPEA Information Commons – 841 (1%)

No other page logged more than one percent of overall hits for the site in that time frame – that’s pretty typical behavior for us. What does that mean? Well, we have a lot of pages, and we have a lot of people entering somewhere other than the home page.

What was our most used resource? Google Scholar, with 330 hits, followed by the New York Times with 316.

About 5000 sessions were via smartphones – that’s 15% of our overall traffic, which is up 150% from our previous average of about 10%. Only 2% of our users reached us via a tablet.

Where did the desktop users click? Have a look!

Heatmap: Indiana University Libraries - Desktop August 2016

Students and Tablets

The Pearson Foundation recently came out with a report that highlights the changing landscape of tablet usage among students, in both high school and college settings. The study was done to “gauge college students’ and college-bound high school seniors’ opinions about digital device ownership and purchase intent; perceptions towards tablets; tablet usage and features of interest; and preferences between digital or print formats when reading, studying and doing other school-related activities.”  The outcomes are particularly interesting for a number of reasons-while ownership of devices is still low (only 7% of the almost 1100 college students  and 4% of the 200 high school students surveyed owned tablet devices), the interest in tablets is booming. Nine out of ten of those who own tablets said the device helped them study more effectively and efficiently, and three quarters of those surveyed said they thought tablets helped students perform better in class. One of the biggest shifts, researchers note, is the way that this interest in and acceptance of mobile technology affects the use of digital textbooks. Check out the entire report!

 

Overview of eBook Formats

Electronic Books are becoming more and more popular with the success of eReaders like Amazon’s Kindle and the emergence of tablet computers. Although many readers still prefer paper, eBooks take up less space, are often cheaper, and can provide reading enhancements like flexible font sizing and multimedia. One of the most daunting hurdles to readers that are new to eBooks is the wide array of eBook formats. Here are three that are worth paying attention to:

PDF

The .pdf format was developed by Adobe Systems as a way of preserving document layout across computing platforms. Short for Portable Document Format, .pdf files emulate the traditional structured layout of print books. As a result, it is an excellent format for publications that require tight control of layout, fonts, and images, such as legal or technical documents. The price of this level of precision is a limited ability to resize and reflow text. Originally a proprietary format, Adobe has made .pdf available as an open standard. PDF files are also easily viewable desktop computers using free software like the Adobe Reader.

AZW

The .azw format is the propriety format used by the Amazon Kindle eReader. All eBooks purchased from Amazon’s Kindle Store are delivered in this format, which includes a proprietary Digital Rights Management system that requires users to use a Kindle or Kindle software. Amazon has made its Kindle software available for desktops, smartphones, and tablets, allowing readers to read their books on any device. Unlike the .pdf format, .azw files are “reflowable” and allow readers to adjust the font size, background color, etc., of their eBooks. The Kindle and Kindle software will also read the legacy format on which .azw is based, called Mobipocket (.mobi). Many books at Project Gutenberg are available in this format.

ePub

The .epub format is an open standard developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum. ePub files are reflowable and allow readers to adjust the font size, background color, etc., of their eBooks. The IDPF hopes to finalize the ePub 3 standard by mid-2011, which will include support for embedded video and audio. ePub files are supported by several devices including the iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook, Borders Kobo, and the Sony eReader. The Google Books project and Project Gutenberg both offer books in .epub format.

A note on Digital Rights Management (DRM)

All three of the eBook formats discussed here can come with a variety of proprietary digital rights management encoding that may limit which files may be read on which devices.