Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 1 April 2005



Banwell, L. (2005), "Editorial", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 6 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/pmm.2005.27906aaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


The year 2005 is another of those special years for us at Northumbria University in the Division of Information and Communication Studies. It is a “PM” year again – this time, it is the sixth PM conference. The series of Northumbria International Conferences on Performance Measurement and Management in Libraries and Information Services began in 1995, and has run biennially since then. It has moved its venue several times, including once overseas when we were hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, for PM4. PM5 came back to the UK and was held in Durham – PM6 returns to that same successful location. The conference will run from midday on Monday 22 August to midday on Thursday 25 August in Durham, UK, and is badged as an official (post) IFLA satellite conference.

The conference title is The Impact and Outcomes of Library and Information Services: Performance Measurement for a Changing Information Environment.

The conference focus will be on the practical outcomes of theory – papers will be presented by an international cast of speakers, bringing together practitioners and academics from all sectors of the information profession. There will also be poster sessions, which are ideal for young researchers (in age and/or experience!).

The Keynote Speakers too, are international. Roswitha Poll from Germany, Karen Motylewski from the USA, Sue Henczel from Australia, and with the UK ably represented by Andrew Booth. More details about the conference can be found on the conference web site, www.imri.ac.uk or from Sarah.howells@northumbria.ac.uk

Durham is a beautiful, small city in North-East England with one of the finest Norman cathedrals and castles in the world, in a spectacular setting above the river Wear. Indeed, the conference dinner will be held in the Great Hall of Durham Castle, and will be a real treat. We do hope you will want to join us at the conference, to meet up with old friends and contacts and to make new ones. Stay a few days extra; travel direct from IFLA in Scandinavia; enjoy Northumbria and Hadrian’s Wall whilst you are here.

Performance Measurement and Metrics has always been closely associated with the Northumbria Performance Measures conferences. Emerald helps support us, and indeed has published the PM5 conference proceedings with papers additionally appearing in others of its journals as well as PMM. The papers in this issue of the journal will be a good taster for the conference – they are international, both practitioner and academic focused, with a bit of humour thrown in (with a sort-of-serious edge to it), and a review too of a must-have book.

The first two papers are from the academic sector, and focus on student learning. Anne Middleton describes the investigation undertaken at Northumbria University, as part of the UK Society of College National and University Libraries (SCONUL)/CILIP Special Interest Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) Impact Study, and also carried out in collaboration with IMRI (the Information Management Research Institute) at Northumbria. The Impact study is an ongoing and large-scale development project being undertaken by library practitioners to help them in assessing the impact of their library services on users. Northumbria’s investigation of methods for bibliography analysis is an interesting case study, with development possibilities. Margaret Markland’s paper is similarly a case study-based investigation of search strategy impact on student learning, again with development possibilities.

Elena Boretti’s paper about public library statistics in Italy is a most welcome contribution, from a sector where there is little tradition of writing for scholarly publication. Authors from such under-represented contexts are to be greatly encouraged, and we hope to receive an increasing number of such papers.

The paper from David Wainwright and colleagues takes us a step into the field of business information systems. The focus is on ICT benchmarking in small firms; the methodology used and resulting framework for analysis has obvious synergies and overlaps with benchmarking in the library sector. We all benefit from multidisciplinary working and sharing of experience, and this article widens our horizons and expands our toolboxes. It is my intention to regularly publish material to provoke in us new insights into what we do, and to offer new perspectives and resources.

And finally – Stephen Thornton offers us a somewhat tongue-in-cheek view of customer satisfaction and the serious matter of the measuring value. Well worth the read, with some key points embedded in it. Thank you Steve for reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously!

I hope both that you will enjoy this issue of PMM, and that you attend PM6 – I shall look forward to meeting you there.

Linda Banwell

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