University of Northern Iowa (Rod Library)
Log Number: LG-34-19-0074-19
The University of Northern Iowa Library and Computer Science department will explore an academic Library's chat reference transcripts using multiple topic modeling techniques. Analysis of chat transcripts can provide librarians with rich insights into improving the quality of library resources, services, accessibility, and spaces. However, in practice it is difficult for library professionals without extensive technical expertise to go beyond simple quantitative analysis. This project will identify the most appropriate topic modeling technique(s) in the context of chat reference data and develop a prototype chat-analysis and assessment tool. Outcomes and findings of this project, which will be disseminated as open source codes and via diverse publication venues, will be used in a future project for developing a user-friendly analysis and assessment tool for chat reference data. The project seeks aiding librarians to move beyond simple analysis to a deeper and more nuanced understanding of patron needs by uncovering hidden patterns and trends.