Using business intelligence to tackle modern library challenges: A new advanced eCourse

For Immediate Release
Tue, 12/30/2014


Dan Freeman
eLearning Manager
ALA Publishing
ALA Publishing

CHICAGO — Offered by ALA Publishing in collaboration with the San José State University School of Information (SJSU iSchool), the new advanced eCourse Using Business Intelligence to Tackle Modern Library Challenges, beginning on Feb. 2, 2015, will help participants become proficient in business intelligence, competitive advantage and other strategic approaches. 

Sean Gaffney, a lecturer at the San José State University School of Information and librarian and manager in the Research and Analysis team at PricewaterhouseCoopers, will teach you how to use social media and Web-based resources combined with business-intelligence strategies currently used by Fortune 500 companies to create a smarter, leaner, more strategic library, while increasing engagement and user satisfaction.

The challenges are diverse, and it’s difficult to find the type of training that can prepare you or your staff to address them using a comprehensive, integrated approach like this course offers. This course will equip you to apply such an approach, addressing various questions such as: How do you learn about and market to your community within and making the most of the rapidly changing social environment? How do you manage your staff and services to keep up with increasing demand and decreasing budgets? With local governments slashing services across the board, how can you ensure that your library’s value is clear to your community?

You’ll start with social media and free web-based resources. Gaffney will show you how the business community uses the major social networks (including Facebook and LinkedIn) as a rich source of community, demographic and marketing data while simultaneously using them as a marketing and outreach tool. He will then take you through a variety of business concepts and demonstrate how the Fortune 500 approach can apply productively to your library. Along the way, you’ll work through assignments by applying them to your own community and gain real-world experience with these strategies.

Through your participation in this course, you will:

  • learn how you can use social media as a means of gathering community and marketing data;
  • understand how business strategies like intelligence gathering, driving value and searching for competitive advantage work and how they can be applied to libraries;
  • learn how to increase your own financial literacy and how to help fellow staff members build their own;
  • learn how to analyze, understand and connect with your local business community and how to work to build library/business community partnerships;
  • learn how you can help patrons who are part of the small business community;
  • learn how to synthesize the skills developed through this course into a broad set of strategies that can be used across the full spectrum of tasks and responsibilities surrounding librarianship.

The course will be delivered entirely online with coursework completed asynchronously. Within the week-by-week format, students will be able to work at their own pace and interact with Gaffney and fellow students through emails and message boards without the constraints of attending a live session at a specific time. The advanced eCourse Using Business Intelligence to Tackle Modern Library Challenges begins on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.

For more information about the e-Course, including how to register, please visit the ALA Store.

Sean Gaffney is a manager in the Research and Analysis team at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He covers companies in the Industrial Products sector with an emphasis on Chemicals and Metals. Prior to joining PwC, he worked for Archer Daniels Midland in a variety of roles, including head research librarian, manager of information services and senior information scientist. Gaffney holds an MBA in Accounting from Saint Leo University, an MLIS from Kent State University and a Certificate of Advanced Study in LIS from the University of Illinois. Gaffney is a part-time faculty member at San José State University School of Information and is also a CPA and a CMA.

ALA Publishing provides all librarians a comprehensive, one-stop resource for dynamic print and digital materials and eLearning dedicated to professional development, improving library services, and the promotion of libraries, literacy, and reading.

The SJSU iSchool / ALA Publishing advanced e-courses offer in-depth, advanced training that take participants from introductory to high-level content in 12 short weeks. Award-winning  SJSU iSchool faculty members help participants dig deep into relevant course topics to provide applicable knowledge and skills that can transform their work. These asynchronous online courses are ideal for information professionals from around the world.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 3244 or

The SJSU iSchool prepares individuals for professional careers in the information professions. Graduates work in diverse areas, such as information governance, user experience design, digital asset management, information architecture, electronic records management, and librarianship. The  SJSU iSchool offers several online educational programs, including a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science, which is fully accredited by the American Library Association; a Master’s degree in Archives and Records Administration; and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Library and Information Science. All programs are delivered online, and the  SJSU iSchool is a recognized leader in online education. For more information about the school, please visit: