The purpose of this paper is to describe some of the benefits received from a four‐year implementation of a Quality Management System in a small Italian Academic Library.
The Library of the Department of Statistics at University of Bologna, is one of the few Italian academic libraries currently with a Quality Management System accredited to the International UNI EN ISO 9001:2000 standard. This paper examines six knowledge‐based tools developed as part of the QMS, including the student and junior researchers' customer satisfaction survey, the stakeholder Focus Group, and the statistical indicators.
The paper finds that ISO Quality Management System has proved to be a powerful instrument for improving performance and increasing user satisfaction. By describing in documented procedures how the Library's services should be run, each member of staff effectively shares their personal knowledge with their fellows, and with the staff of the future.
The Library's statistical environment enabled it to create and develop more sophisticated performance measurement tools and metrics than would have been the case in a different cultural environment.
This paper provides a useful overview of the implementation of a Quality Management System in an academic context and its positive side effects on human resources development, user satisfaction, and continual service improvement. Other Academic Libraries could gain considerable benefits through adopting a similar quality standard approach.
This paper provides a new outlook on using an international quality standard as a process to improve knowledge and awareness of an existing library system, enabling targeted service improvements. As such it is a valuable innovative tool for academic librarians.
The purpose of this paper is to present a personal story about the use of statistics to help protect library services at the Library of the Department of Statistics at Bologna University.
This paper describes the statistics used uncritically by the Centralized Library Services of the University, their inadequacy, and greater utility of the data gathered by the Statistics Library together with those of the University of Ferrara.
The data gathered by the Statistics Library and those of the University of Ferrara provided a richer and more valid image of their services and their value to the user community, than the limited, somewhat old‐fashioned and simplistic metrics of the Centralized Library Services.
This successful approach helped change the mind of senior library management at a time of retrenchment. It is hoped that it will inspire others to challenge simplistic snapshots of services and strengthen their cases with more representative data.