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Developing a values scorecard

J. Stephen Town (JB Morrell Library, University of York, York, UK)
Martha Kyrillidou (Statistics and Service Quality, Association of Research Libraries, Washington, DC, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 12 April 2013




The purpose of this paper is to define a framework and categorization of the types of evidence required to prove the value and impact of libraries. It questions the limitations of current measurement for library value, and hence for contributing to academic and research library planning and advocacy. The paper describes and draws on some of the recent progress in value and impact measurement over the last five years. Scenario planning exercises conducted by both ARL and SCONUL are used to analyse the likely future value proposition emerging for libraries. A values‐based value scorecard is proposed, which would demonstrate the transcendent value of academic and research libraries now and in the future.


The paper examines research literature from library and general management texts to propose a framework for measuring the value and impact of libraries.


The paper concludes that a value scorecard can be used alongside the balanced scorecard to add a more value‐oriented picture of library strengths and contribution. The potential benefit of the proposed value scorecard is to gather evidence which will assist both strategic planning and decision making in relation to key areas for future investment.


The proposal defines a new framework aimed at measuring the full value of academic research libraries, considering both tangible and intangible assets. The proposal has been developed by exploring measurement gaps in the library management field and exploring potential options from this area and general management literature. If applied successfully, the model should provide a useful tool for strategic management and decision making.



Stephen Town, J. and Kyrillidou, M. (2013), "Developing a values scorecard", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 7-16.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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