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The cat's pyjamas? Performance indicators for national libraries

Roswitha Poll (Chair of ISO Committee TC46/SC 8 and formerly University of Münster Library, Münster, Germany)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 4 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the new Technical Report ISO 28118 “Performance measures for national libraries”.


The paper reports on the mission and main tasks of national libraries as defined by the technical report, and describes some 30 performance indicators including indicators that are specifically relevant to national libraries. The paper also explains the process by which indicators were selected and tested.


The rationale for the establishment of a new standard is examined and perspectives offered on its envisaged application and further development.


This paper gives an informative preview of the Technical Report which, at the time of writing, is in the process of being published. It serves as a useful introduction to the report for those who may wish to adopt the standard in future, and whilst primarily aimed at national libraries it is potentially relevant for regional libraries with similar tasks and missions.



Poll, R. (2008), "The cat's pyjamas? Performance indicators for national libraries", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 110-117.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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