May 26, 2022

Log Analysis: A Look at a Semester of Searches at the University of Michigan Library (Fall 2012)

In a post that was published just before Christmas, Ken Varnun, Library Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library, does a terrific job of sharing a bunch of analytics (with charts) that reveal how different search tools were utilized by MLibrary users during the Fall 2012 semester.

Varnum Writes:

The fall semester at the University of Michigan is 112 days long (111 in 2010). For year-over-year data gathering, I defined the semester as starting with registration and ending on the last day of exams. In 2012, that means August 31 to December 20, inclusive. During the fall semester, library website visitors conducted a total of 1,201,103 searches.

The article continues with usage numbers, charts, and analysis of searching in three categories:

  • MLibrary’s One Search Tool
    • Books, Articles, Web Pages, and Other Materials
    • Default Search
    • “Searches in the library’s default MLibrary tab are remarkably constant across the past three years”
  • Article Discovery
    • “Significantly increased usage over the past few years”
    • Powered by Summon
  • Catalog Search (“Catalog searches decreased by about 10%”)
    • ” Catalog searches decreased by about 10%

Read the Complete Analysis, View Charts

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.