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Using performance measurement for decision making in mid‐sized academic libraries

Wanda V. Dole (Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, USA)
Anne Liebst (Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, USA)
Jitka M. Hurych (Northern Illinois University Libraries, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 September 2006

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether Beck's research method and instruments, which were carried out in 2002 in larger and more research‐based libraries, are applicable to academic libraries of other types and sizes.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports the results of a year‐long study on the impact of assessment on library decision making in nine small to medium sized academic libraries in the USA. The study replicates Susan J. Beck's 2002 study on the impact of assessment on decision making in nine Association of Research Libraries (ARL) libraries in North America which was carried out in larger and more research‐based libraries. Directors and key administrators were interviewed to gather qualitative data. Two survey instruments were used to gather quantitative data: Beck's “Factors in decision‐making” survey and “Do you have a culture of assessment?” survey adapted from Amos Lakos (University of California at Los Angeles) and Betsy Wilson (University of Washington) – 1998; revised and updated by Shelley Phipps (University of Arizona) – 2002; additional revisions by Julia Blixrud – 2003. Qualitative data are transcribed and weighted. The quantitative data are run through standard statistical tests. The authors discuss their experience with the survey instruments and compare the results of their survey with those of Beck's.

Findings

Beck's method is transferable to different types of library, where similar findings result.

Originality/value

The paper offers insights into using performance measurement for decision making in mid‐sized academic libraries.

Keywords

Citation

Dole, W.V., Liebst, A. and Hurych, J.M. (2006), "Using performance measurement for decision making in mid‐sized academic libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 173-184. https://doi.org/10.1108/14678040610713138

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited