Happy New Year, ToS-ers!


I’m writing to ask for some impromptu, time-sensitive advice on making a case to library administrators against adopting Google Analytics in service of collecting data about our web pages.



In 2015, our library switched from Google Analytics to the open-source, locally hosted Piwik for web analytics on our 194 web pages. (For more information, see Chandler, Adam, and Melissa Wallace. “Using Piwik Instead of Google Analytics at the Cornell University Library.” The Serials Librarian 71, no. 3–4 (November 16, 2016): 173–79. https://doi.org/10.1080/0361526X.2016.1245645 .)


Last year, we got some new administrators, who have asked us our web staff to switch back to Google Analytics. When staff expressed concern over this directive, a meeting was called in which the web staff to will make their anti-GA case to our university librarian and other administrators. I am a public services librarian, and I am not well-versed in the technical aspects of implementing analytics systems, but I was added to the meeting, I believe, because I am generally loud about privacy issues, and teach privacy workshops for patrons and our staff.


At this point, I don’t fully understand the administrators’ reasoning for wanting to return to GA, but I hope to learn more during the meeting.


Current Problem:

We are scrambling to gather evidence and background for the meeting Monday morning.


Here are my questions for you all:

-- Do you have any experience using alternatives to GA for your library web analytics? What positive or negative results have you observed or experienced?

-- Do you have any experience making the case to administrators that your library should avoid GA? How did it go?

-- Any (article-length or shorter) readings you would particularly recommend to librarians and/or administrators who want to understand the issues at stake? (See below for our current collection.)

-- Any other advice or insight you’d like to offer?


In advance, thank you very much! Your input and support are very appreciated.



Eliza Bettinger

Digital Humanities Librarian


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