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Using standards to make your case: examples from the medical library community

Carla J. Funk (Medical Library Association, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 16 May 2008




The paper seeks to discuss how medical librarians have used library standards, especially benchmark data, in advocating for the medical library and medical librarian to their communities, institutions, and other groups and the Medical Library Association's role in supporting these advocacy efforts.


Broad definitions of standards and benchmarking are cited from the literature and short case studies from medical librarianship are described on how both standards and benchmarking have been used to advocate for increased staff and budgets for medical libraries. Tips for using these tools are also included.


The case studies illustrate that more work should be done by all library associations in promoting the use of standards, including benchmarking, as an important tool for helping their members advocate for the value of libraries and librarians in helping institutions and organizations outside of the library achieve their missions and goals.

Research limitations/implications

The case studies included are anecdotal in nature and are not to be considered research.


The paper highlights how medical librarians should encourage the development and use of standards to not only measure and improve the quality of library programs and services internally, but also externally to promote the value of the library/librarian to the community, institution, or corporation, and thereby gain needed additional resources to serve target populations.



Funk, C.J. (2008), "Using standards to make your case: examples from the medical library community", New Library World, Vol. 109 No. 5/6, pp. 251-257.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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