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Implementing the Value Scorecard

Stephen Town (University of York, York, UK)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 9 November 2015




The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of the implementation and use of the Value Scorecard in a university library. The Value Scorecard seeks to articulate the full value of a library through a four dimensional matrix populated with data, evidence and narrative.


The study covers two years of collection of data and evidence to populate the Value Scorecard at the University of York, UK. This is action research and development.


The paper describes the success of the implementation of the framework across a broad university service including library, archives and IT services. The reporting template is outlined and the availability of relevant measures for populating each dimension are discussed, together with developments in the concepts of each dimension since the original paper on the scorecard. The paper reflects on the advances in the understanding and practice of performance measurement and assessment in libraries that the Value Scorecard offers. The strengths and omissions of other pre-existing frameworks, including the Balanced Scorecard, are discussed and absorbed into the value framework. The application of the Value Scorecard offers a practical and successful framework for library performance measurement and advocacy in a dynamic and changing landscape.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the research are those generally applying to a single case experience.

Practical implications

Nothing arises from the study to suggest that other libraries could not apply this framework, as it encompasses other previous frameworks and allows for local variations and circumstances. Some elements of the framework lack full measurement methods, and this is discussed.


The originality and value of the paper is that it provides a unique framework for measurement of all dimensions of activity and value in an academic research library, and one that can be tailored to local requirements.



Thanks to Ian Hall and Katie Burn, and to all Information Service Unit leaders and their staff at York for providing the data and evidence on which this paper is based. Thanks to Margi Jantti and the University of Wollongong for providing the template that was subsequently developed into the Value Scorecard collection tool at the University of York. Thanks also to Matt Stripe and HR colleagues at Nestle (UK and Ireland) for discussions and examples of people strategy and measurements. Thanks to the York Manuscripts Conference 2014 for enlightenment on the history of the earliest York libraries.


Town, S. (2015), "Implementing the Value Scorecard", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 234-251.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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