Strategi, værdi og kvalitet (Strategy, Value and Quality)

Viveca Nyström (Consultant, BRA arkivkonsult)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 21 March 2008




Nyström, V. (2008), "Strategi, værdi og kvalitet (Strategy, Value and Quality)", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 69-70.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Swedish and Danish public libraries are not facing serious economic problems at the present time, but as in all areas of the public sector there is a growing demand, from politicians and other clients, for quality to be measured in a way to allow a comparison between units. Other trends also put pressure on libraries and make it necessary for library managers to review on‐going activities. How do libraries attract children and teenagers? How to compete with all the other distributors of information and knowledge? With a sound factual foundation these problematic and complicated issues are discussed in the book.

Volume 1 is a comprehensive survey on research and practice in performance and evaluation measurement for libraries. The references to source‐material and literature are thorough and extensive. Volume 2 is a practical handbook. The author has applied the methods of Balanced Scorecards to public libraries, and created performance indicators intended to measure quality. He has defined three different profiles according to which role an individual library plays in its community. Those functions are:

  • learning centre;

  • cultural centre and meeting place; and

  • information‐, business‐ and innovation centre.

Three Danish libraries have acted as test cases, and a couple of chief librarians in Sweden have also been involved. The Balanced Scorecard concept is not yet a story of success in Sweden, but the effort to develop useful metrics that measure library effectiveness is a current challenge. And with this book in your hand it is a very short step from theory to practice. In other words, just follow the instructions – and most of them will apply to any kind of library.

Balanced Scorecards work mainly with statistics. As to whether quantitative methods actually give a true picture of library quality is a question asked by the author on the last page of the book. He writes that through the production of this manuscript he has become more and more convinced that there is also a need for storytelling, that during data collection the stakeholders get the opportunity to verbally express value, suggest improvements, sources of irritation and visions.

First published in Swedish in Biblioteksbladet. By kind permission of the publishers.

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