In March, Bob Molyneux joined Sirsi as Chief Statistician to work with the Normative Data Project (NDP). Under his lead, the NDP staff collects, analyzes, and publishes data on statistics related to libraries. To ensure the quality and value of NDP, he recommends data that should be collected and by what methodologies they should be collected, as well as vetting all statistical data published or released through NDP.
Bob also works closely with government and library community sources of data – including the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the US National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS), the National Center for Education Statistics, the Federal-State Cooperative System for Public Library Data, the American Library Association, the Public Library Association, and American Association of School Librarians – to create new and derivative information products.
A professional librarian, Bob holds his baccalaureate, M.S.L.S, and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia, Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University), and the University of North Carolina, respectively. He has published numerous monographs and articles on a range of topics related to libraries, library data and statistics, and information technology.
"When I went to work on my doctorate, I wanted to study the 'behavior' of books on shelves. But with the technology and reporting available at the time, we really couldn't do it. Now we can." Bob continues, "I can't begin to describe how exciting this is because I knew more than 20 years ago that this ability would be important in managing and understanding how people and libraries interact."
Most recently, Bob was the director of statistics and surveys for NCLIS. Prior to joining NCLIS in 2002, he held teaching and library staff positions at the University of South Carolina, Global Knowledge Inc., Louisiana State University, the University of Illinois, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Also of particular note from 1989-1996, Bob worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where he served in a variety of statistical and analytical capacities and witnessed the banking crisis firsthand.
Bob also helped to usher in the FDIC’s adoption of Internet technology. He had to do some convincing though. After suggesting that they upload a document to the Internet for sharing and viewing purposes, his boss responded, “What is that, and why would we want to do it?”
Enthusiastic about his new work at Sirsi, Bob says, "The Normative Data Project is a phenomenal opportunity. By studying real-world data collected as part of the day-to-day operations of libraries, we can discern trends and dynamics as never before."
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