To read this content please select one of the options below:

Academic library benchmarking in The Netherlands: a comparative study

Henk Voorbij (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, The Hague, The Netherlands)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 20 March 2009




This paper aims to describe some of the unique features of the Dutch academic library benchmarking system.


The Dutch system is compared with similar projects in the USA, the UK and Germany.


One of the most distinguishing features of the Dutch system is the method by which the results are analysed and presented. Absolute values of performance indicators are converted to median relative scores and, as a result, a graph can be created for each library that shows at a glance its relative position for a whole range of indicators.

Practical implications

Similar benchmarking projects may benefit from the Dutch experience regarding the selection of raw data, the choice of performance indicators, the validity of the performance indicators, methods for analysis and presentation, and interpretation of the results.


The paper provides detailed and critical information on a long‐running project. It questions the validity of some established performance indicators.



Voorbij, H. (2009), "Academic library benchmarking in The Netherlands: a comparative study", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 59-72.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles