Joan Stein (Hunt Library, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 11 April 2016



Stein, J. (2016), "Editorial", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 17 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-03-2016-0009



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Performance Measurement and Metrics, Volume 17, Issue 1.

Last summer, 2015, the Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services was held in Edinburgh, Scotland. The first conference dedicated to library performance measures (before library assessment developed as a field of study), the Northumbria Conference was first held in 1995. This biennial conference laid the foundation for a future international community of assessment for practitioners, researchers and educators, and continues to provide high-quality presentations and abundant opportunities for networking for professionals working in the broad field of library assessment. If you were unable to attend, you will have the opportunity to read several papers presented there in the next issue of Performance Measurement & Metrics (PMM), Volume 17, Issue 2, 2016. The entire issue will be dedicated to select papers from the conference and will be guest-edited by Stephen Town. The issue will also contain a surprise section, so be sure to keep an eye out for it.

The third issue of PMM, Volume 17, Issue 3, of 2016 will also be a special issue, this time addressing the topic of altmetrics. It is being guest-edited by Dr Anna Maria Tammaro of the University of Parma, Reggio-Emilia, Italy and Chair of the IFLA Library Theory and Research Section. Before leaving the topic of special issues, as editor of PMM I am always interested in talking with people who would like to guest editing special issues on topics of particular interest to the them and the profession. We would be interested in dedicating issues, for example, on the role of libraries in higher education assessment, the contribution of libraries to student success, and learning analytics in libraries. Please feel free to contact me at mailto:joan@andrew.cmu.edu if you are interested in guest-editing a special issue.

Because our next two issues are guest-edited and dedicated to special topics, this current issue contains two articles co-authored by Christine Urquhart which comprise the remaining two articles, Parts 2 and 3, of her three-part "Reflections on the value and impact of library and information services" series of viewpoints pieces, the first of which was published in Volume 16, Issue 1 in 2015. Part I, which covered value identification and value creation (for which Ms Urquhart was the sole author) has been popular with our readers, having been downloaded 585 times. Having the second two parts in the same issue allows us to read them without having to wait for our next regular issue for the third part to be published. Part II covers impact assessment and is co-authored by Jenny Turner. Part III is subtitled "towards an assessment culture" and is co-authored with Dina Tbaishat. Both as an editor and a reader, I would like to thank the author and her co-authors for undertaking this extensive three-part survey and summary of the value and impacts of libraries. Their international perspective is a bonus.

In their article "Capturing digital developments through qualitative inquiry", Martha Kyrillidou, Colleen Cook, and Sarah Lippincott examine narratives written by 86 ARL member libraries concerning their digital library work, including past and current projects and future plans both large and small. By analyzing these narratives with Atlas.ti, the researchers surfaced major themes (including such topics as setting standards for access and quality and exploring best practices) and key areas for digital library developments. This article will be of great interest to all libraries as they continue moving toward further digitization of their collections in order to both create more space for users’ evolving needs and to make their collections accessible to any member of their campus community, wherever they may be in the world. It also highlights the usefulness of narrative analysis as a technique in qualitative assessment.

Ethan Pullman’s case study titled "Qatari students’ pre-college experience with information literacy", focusses on the information literacy experience and skills of students at an American University, Carnegie Mellon, in Qatar’s Education City. It is one of only a few articles that focus on current research on Qatari University students and information literacy. Many universities in the USA have campuses in Doha, Qatar’s Education City or in other Middle-Eastern countries, making this case study relevant to a wide variety of practitioners and educators. Its acknowledgment of cultural differences and how to make best use of them to make teaching more relevant is one of the strengths of this article.

In their usability study "Comparing library way-finding among novices and experts", Holt Zaug et al., compare the way-finding skills of both novice and experienced students in an academic library. Using three groups of students, high school, freshmen, and seniors, the researchers randomly assigned the participants to scenarios requiring them to locate various things within the library. Using student researchers, the exercises were videotaped, field notes were taken, and participants were interviewed at the end of their scenario, provided a rich array of data to analyze. The results of this in-depth look at way finding allowed the library to improve signage, maps, and other way-finding tools to better allow students to navigate the library and be successful in finding what they need.

In this, the second part of their research study "Exploring academic e-book use: Part II through focus groups and interviews" (see Part I in Volume 16, Issue 3), authors Melissa Goertzen and Nisa Bakkalbasi verify the text analysis method used in their first study by conducting focus groups and interviews with faculty members and graduate students to gather and analyze qualitative data that further explained the results of their text analysis data on academic e-book use.

Book review:

Wordofa, Kebede. Library Assessment in Higher Education by Joe Matthews

The Library Assessment Conference (LAC), currently sponsored by ARL and the University of Washington, is rapidly approaching. This will be the sixth conference, representing a decade of creating and maintaining a community of assessment in North America and providing an outlet for assessment research for practitioners, educators, and researchers. The LAC has developed an international profile due to its quality and the closeness of the library assessment community. It was also influenced by and maintains ties with the Northumbria International Conference on Libraries and Information Services. Registration will open sometime this month (March, 2016) or early next. The dates of the conference are October 31-November 2, 2016. It will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Further information about the conference will appear on their website as it becomes available.

Please continue to consider submitting your manuscripts to PMM. The Editorial Advisory Board will be looking at expanding the journal’s areas of coverage into broader areas, such as learning analytics and the role of libraries in broad higher education assessment. We hope to keep the journal evolving with the field and reflecting current research and readers’ interests.

I hope you find this issue both useful and thought provoking.

Joan Stein

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