I work at a county public library, and recently I found out that our greeters have been writing down the questions patrons ask them. I gave them a form to make the data more coherent and I've been keeping it in an Access database. There are only about 5000 data points so far, about 1.5 years worth. All I've done with it to date is keep an updated FAQ at the greeter's desk. Any suggestions for what else I might do with it?

Also, if the library agrees, would anyone else like to use it for anything?

  • What country is this?
    – Pacerier
    Jun 28, 2015 at 8:26
  • We often have linguists and other people asking for sets of short texts or comments, so a database of 5000 question would probably interest a few people.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 29, 2015 at 7:33
  • I'd recommend asking this question on the code4lib mailing list, as it's possible that some other library has done something similar. If the library is an OCLC member, you might want to check with them, too.
    – Joe
    Jun 29, 2015 at 16:15
  • Oh ... and you might also look to other helpdesk groups -- it's possible that there might be good formats for storing the data to make FAQs or trees for people doing tier 1 support. (I've both worked at helpdesks, and have a library degree)
    – Joe
    Jun 29, 2015 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


You should convert the database to something non-proprietary for starters. Then you can post it to the open data se account on datahub.io.

Offhand I cannot think of any uses for it, but that therein lies part of open data's beauty: it's not what you can think of doing with it... it's putting it out there to see what others can/will do with it.

Here's the datahub.io account:

  • 1
    "it's not what you can think of doing with it... it's putting it out there to see what others can/will do with it" <- I love this! I would suggest the asker to create their own datahub organization for their library.
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 29, 2015 at 7:31

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