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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Christine Urquhart and Jenny Turner

– The purpose of this paper is to critically review methods of impact assessment and economic analyses.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically review methods of impact assessment and economic analyses.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews the literature on impact assessment, and examines some case studies of impact assessment in health libraries. Relates satisfaction and dissatisfaction assessment to impact assessment. Identifies recent impact assessment approaches in public and academic libraries, and explores different uses of terminology for impact and outcome. Reviews literature on economic analysis of value, including cost analyses, cost-effectiveness analysis and return on investment (ROI) studies.

Findings

Terms for library assessment (outcome, output, impact, value and benefit) vary among different sectors. Impact evaluation should examine initial assumptions of value carefully, and examine possible gaps in the line of argument linking inputs of library services to presumed impacts (positive and negative). More attention to sampling and response rates is required, to avoid problems such as the “warm glow” effect. Qualitative and quantitative evidence should be carefully integrated to tell the impact story. Economic impact can be estimated, but methodology depends on the service aims and sector.

Originality/value

Demonstrates that some of the requirements for traditional impact assessment also affect economic analyses and ROI studies.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Fiona Salisbury and Jennifer Peasley

The purpose of this paper is to provide an Australian perspective of impact and value by examining how the broader international and national perspectives play out in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an Australian perspective of impact and value by examining how the broader international and national perspectives play out in practice in the Australian context and where adaption for local requirements is necessary.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper will explore the assessment of impact and value in academic libraries and the tools available to translate today’s inputs into future impact and value. It will focus on a range of methods and procedures, including international and national standards, frameworks and benchmarks.

Findings

The La Trobe University Library is presented as a case study to examine the challenges of leveraging tools to assess impact and communicate the value of the library across the university community.

Originality/value

Assessing the impact and demonstrating the value of the academic library in a digital environment is a constant challenge. While usage and service data are plentiful, traditional metrics no longer sufficiently demonstrate the academic library’s contribution to university learning, teaching and research outcomes.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Philip Calvert and Anne Goulding

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a study exploring New Zealand library managers’ views on the purpose, outcomes and approaches to measuring library

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a study exploring New Zealand library managers’ views on the purpose, outcomes and approaches to measuring library economic value and social impact.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with library managers drawn from a purposive sample were undertaken in four main centres in New Zealand.

Findings

Analysis of the interviews suggest that library managers do not feel under immediate direct pressure to provide evidence of the value and impact of their services but feel that it is important to have data available if required. There was some scepticism about the validity of quantitative data collected and some uncertainty about how to interpret and communicate it for the best outcome for the service. Strong support for qualitative “stories” or narratives was a feature of the interviews.

Research limitations/implications

This was a small scale study, limited to just four centres in the North Island of New Zealand.

Practical implications

Library managers may want to consider systematic methods of collecting narrative data to support quantitative data. They could also reflect on how to communicate value and impact data and information proactively, using alternative communication strategies and tools such as social media.

Originality/value

There have been no previous studies of library managers’ views of measuring the value and impact of libraries in New Zealand. The focus on the purpose and outcomes of measurement in the New Zealand context is also original.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Christine Urquhart

This paper aims to examine the principles that underpin library assessment, methods used for impact and performance evaluation and how academic libraries should use the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the principles that underpin library assessment, methods used for impact and performance evaluation and how academic libraries should use the findings, and it discusses how value frameworks help.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a literature review covering aspects of value (value propositions, value co-creation), value frameworks (including the 2015 ACRL framework, Holbrook typology with worked example), data analytics and collaborative projects including LibQUAL+ initiatives and the use of balanced scorecard principles (including a values scorecard).

Findings

The use of data analytics in library assessment requires collaboration among library services to develop reliable data sets. Scorecards help ongoing impact and performance evaluation. Queries that arise may require a framework, or logic model, to formulate suitable questions and assemble evidence (qualitative and quantitative) to answer new questions about the value of library services. The perceived value framework of Holbrook’s typology, the values scorecard and the ACRL framework all support the deeper level of inquiry required.

Research limitations/implications

Includes examples of possible application of frameworks.

Practical implications

A value framework might help data analytic approaches in combining qualitative and quantitative data.

Social implications

Impact assessment may require assessing how value is co-created with library users in use of e-resources and open data.

Originality/value

The study contrasts the varying approaches to impact evaluation and library assessment in academic libraries, and it examines more in-depth value frameworks.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Christine Urquhart and Dina Tbaishat

The purpose of this paper is to examine frameworks (such as scorecards) for ongoing library assessment and how business process modelling contributes in Part 3 of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine frameworks (such as scorecards) for ongoing library assessment and how business process modelling contributes in Part 3 of the series of viewpoint papers.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews the statistical data collection for strategic planning, and use of data analytics. Considers how to organise further value explorations. Compares macro-frameworks (balanced scorecard, values scorecard) and micro-frameworks for library assessment. Reviews the evidence on business process modelling/re-engineering initiatives. Describes how the Riva approach can be used to both derive a process architecture and to model individual processes.

Findings

Data analytics requires collaboration among library services to develop reliable data sets and effective data visualisations for managers to use. Frameworks such as the balanced scorecard may be used to organise ongoing impact and performance evaluation. Queries that arise during ongoing library assessment may require a framework to formulate questions, and assemble evidence (qualitative and quantitative). Both macro- and micro-value frameworks are useful. Work on process modelling within libraries can help to develop an assessment culture, and the Riva approach provides both a process architecture and models of individual processes.

Originality/value

Examines how to implement a library assessment culture through use of data analytics, value frameworks and business process modelling.

Details

Performance Measurement and Metrics, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-8047

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Megan Oakleaf

The purpose of this paper is to describe the need for academic libraries to demonstrate and increase their impact of student learning and success. It highlights the data…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the need for academic libraries to demonstrate and increase their impact of student learning and success. It highlights the data problems present in existing library value correlation research and suggests a pathway to surmounting existing data obstacles. The paper advocates the integration of libraries into institutional learning analytics systems to gain access to more granular student learning and success data. It also suggests using library-infused learning analytics data to discover and act upon new linkages that may reveal library value in an institutional context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes a pattern pervasive in existing academic library value correlation research and identifies major data obstacles to future research in this vein. The paper advocates learning analytics as one route to access more usable and revealing data. It also acknowledges several challenges to the suggested approach.

Findings

This paper describes learning analytics as it may apply to and support correlation research on academic library value. While this paper advocates exploring the integration of library data and institutional data via learning analytics initiatives, it also describes four challenges to this approach including librarian concerns related to the use of individual level data, the tension between claims of correlation and causation in library value research, the need to develop interoperability standards for library data and organizational readiness and learning analytics maturity issues.

Originality/value

This paper outlines a path forward for academic library value research that may otherwise be stymied by existing data difficulties.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 119 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Younghee Noh

This study aims to develop an evaluation index to evaluate the economic value among the values of the library and also attempts to measure the economic value of the library

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to develop an evaluation index to evaluate the economic value among the values of the library and also attempts to measure the economic value of the library by performing a survey of the librarians and users at public libraries. The results of this research would likely encourage the librarians to feel increasingly confident about the library, while students and users, in general, would also likely be able to realize the economic value and presence of the library in more perceptive ways, thereby contributing to the activation of the library.

Design/methodology/approach

This study pertains to the development of an evaluation index for assessing the economic value of the library and, to evaluate the economic value of the library, has derived a preliminary evaluation index by collectively gathering and analyzing the domestic and foreign papers on the value of the library in its first phase. The preliminary evaluation index derived was verified by conducting three phases of Delphi survey by selecting ten experts. The survey questionnaire was developed to measure the economic value based on the final evaluation index derived from this study, and the economic value was measured against the perceptions of librarians and users of the public library.

Findings

The economic value of the library was divided into the four categories of the local economy’s value enhancement, namely, connection with the local community, human resources development, job creation and investment value enhancement for the librarians and users surveyed for assessment purposes. Consequently, the area of connection with the local community turned out to be the highest at 4.15, followed by 4.02 of the investment value improvement, 3.58 for the local economy’s value improvement and 3.50 for the human resources development and job creation, respectively. Furthermore, the respondents demonstrated the highest level of consensus on average on how the resource sharing by libraries has helped to reduce the economic burden for the residents as a matter of social value for the public library while believing that the libraries deliver a high level of return on social investments.

Originality/value

There are not that many studies conducted on the economic influence or the value of public libraries in Korea, and they are merely referenced in part if and when referenced to the overall value of the library. Given that, the research that focuses only on the economic value of the library must be carried out. In this respect, this research has been quite meaningful. The evaluation index developed in this research is likely to become a basic tool that can be applied to public libraries, as well as other types of libraries. Furthermore, the evaluation index developed through this research could be applied to nonprofit organizations, such as libraries, and would likely have a social ripple effect as a research that evaluates and presents the economic value of libraries. Accordingly, in this research, we have analyzed the list presented by the American Library Association and domestic research results, and have also structured the core details and derived the preliminary economic value index. Finally, 4 evaluation areas, 7 evaluation items and 22 evaluation indicators have been developed through the Delphi survey through three phases.

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Robert Detmering, Anna Marie Johnson, Claudene Sproles, Samantha McClellan and Rosalinda Hernandez Linares

This paper aims to provide an introductory overview and selected annotated bibliography of recent resources on library instruction and information literacy across all…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an introductory overview and selected annotated bibliography of recent resources on library instruction and information literacy across all library types.

Design/methodology/approach

It introduces and annotates English-language periodical articles, monographs, dissertations and other materials on library instruction and information literacy published in 2014.

Findings

It provides information about each source, discusses the characteristics of current scholarship and highlights sources that contain unique or significant scholarly contributions.

Originality/value

The information may be used by librarians and interested parties as a quick reference to literature on library instruction and information literacy.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Margie Jantti

The purpose of this case study is to provide an overview of the evolution of performance measurement at the University of Wollongong (UOW) Library. Through iterative…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this case study is to provide an overview of the evolution of performance measurement at the University of Wollongong (UOW) Library. Through iterative review, a framework was sought that would enable it to: demonstrate value and impact; better assess the demand and uptake of services and to evaluate relevance; improve the capture and reporting of continuous improvement initiatives; create a new narrative for communicating its role and unique contribution to UOW’s strategic agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

Since 1996, the Performance Indicator Framework (PIF) has been used to monitor and drive improvement, and to acquire evidence and milestones of success. As the issues of value and impact emerged in both in assessment theory and practice, it was timely to critically reassess the capability of the PIF and to optimise its alignment to the Library’s new structure and strategic focus.

Findings

Initial observations revealed an improved: confidence and independence in team leaders and managers using the PIF and communicating results and outcomes; ability to illustrate the interdependencies of processes, activities and projects; narrative for performance reporting.

Practical implications

UOW Library acknowledges limitations in its competency to establish hard, rigorously tested measures for the indicator “impact”. A key outcome sought from the review was the formation of a new mind-set; to think differently about performance and outcomes. The Library was prepared to accept on a pragmatic level, the identification of proxy measures that could support in some way the narrative and habits that were sought in considering performance data and outcomes.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils an identified need to challenge how libraries consider their effectiveness and their value and impact.

Details

Library Management, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2012

Amanda R. Latreille, Mary Ann Stiefvater and Mary Linda Todd

The chapter describes the Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Initiative of the New York State Library (NYSL) from its start in 2003. Through extensive training, online…

Abstract

The chapter describes the Outcome-Based Evaluation (OBE) Initiative of the New York State Library (NYSL) from its start in 2003. Through extensive training, online support, and integration into statewide processes and grant projects, the initiative has brought OBE to New York State's library community with the overall goals of measuring impact and leveraging funding. NYSL's OBE activities and lessons learned are especially helpful to those interested in developing a similar initiative or aspects of it. The activities and findings of the initiative are reviewed including implementation of the ten-stage OBE Training Plan that was the project's foundation. Logic models and outcomes were used to plan and evaluate most of the initiative.

The OBE Initiative has been a success on many levels. Training and support have been effective in teaching library staff how to implement OBE at regional and local levels. The approach has been widely accepted by libraries. NYSL has also integrated OBE techniques into several statewide processes and grant projects. Through OBE, libraries are able to determine the impact of their programs and services. Outcome data leads to improved planning and better decision making. Users ultimately receive higher quality library services, resulting in a more literate community and workforce. OBE can also support advocacy efforts, leading to increased funding for services. While many in the library community are now using OBE, very few have developed a statewide initiative. The chapter is original and has high value. Each of the three authors has carried out multiple aspects of the project.

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-060-4

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