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An approach to evaluating Latin American university libraries

Ana Reyes Pacios (Library Science and Documentation Department, Carlos III University, Madrid, Spain)
Nidia Lubisco (Information Science Institute, Federal University of Bahia, Bahia, Brazil)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to identify the current evaluation processes and experiences among Latin American university libraries.


This study is based on the results of a questionnaire sent to 31 libraries in seven countries.


It was found that most libraries evaluate some aspect of their services, but the frequency of these actions does not appear to be very consistent. They seem to have an acceptable level of computerization, but some of them neither take advantage of nor make the most of it. Only a few libraries perform an evaluation to improve their management and few libraries have enough historical data sets to permit comparative studies.

Research limitations/implications

The response rate is limited, with just 51.6 percent of surveyed institutions (16 questionnaires returned of the 31 sent).

Practical implications

The paper can aid Latin American university libraries to analyze their evaluation needs in a common forum and to reach agreements as to what are the most appropriate indicators to measure their performance. This will help them in the long term to improve the quality of their services and the value of their role in the performance of the university.


This survey is the first to be carried out to discover the existing situation in Latin America.



Reyes Pacios, A. and Lubisco, N. (2008), "An approach to evaluating Latin American university libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 94-109.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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