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Assessment is not enough for libraries to be valued

Danuta A Nitecki (Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
John Wiggins (Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
Nancy B Turner (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 9 November 2015




This essay is offered in response to an invitation to share reflections on a topic of current concern. The concern is how to position the library profession to not just gain appreciation and support of academic libraries, but to develop librarians as leaders continuing the values of higher education as essential to maintain and improve a democratic society. The paper aims to discuss these issues.


This is a viewpoint piece.


The paper speculates that assessment alone may be an inadequate objective of an organizational culture for academic libraries; assessment is not universally accepted throughout higher education as a primary focus, perhaps with the exception when meeting accreditation requirements.

Practical implications

An informed citizenry, freedom of information, open and equitable access to knowledge, and intellectual diversity are important values to preserve. This concern overlaps with the authors’ shared and independent work to engage in assessment efforts and developing a library culture of assessment.

Social implications

Preparation of academic librarians may benefit from more strongly advancing the core mission of their institutions rather than their service relationship to its customers as an objective of the library culture.


This is the first work to examine why assessment is not enough for libraries to be valued.



Nitecki, D.A., Wiggins, J. and Turner, N.B. (2015), "Assessment is not enough for libraries to be valued", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 197-210.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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