How Well Are We Doing? Common Themes and Possible Solutions in Academic Libraries
Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services,
This paper uses results of postal surveys carried out in the United Kingdom further education (FE) and university sectors to highlight themes and elaborate on suggestions for advancing performance measurement. Academic libraries face insecurity arising from the political and educational changes taking place in academic institutions, competition between institutions and services, and the demands for accountability at a variety of levels within institutions. As a result, it is essential that there are mechanisms in place to monitor and evaluate library services and to maintain the high quality demanded by the academic community. When surveyed, librarians' views on performance assessment followed three main themes: the use of qualitative data in addition to quantitative data; user expectations and how to satisfy the information needs of an increasingly diverse academic community; and the climate of review and assessment, where periodical reviews can act as effective motivators in highlighting and encouraging reflection on how effectively the library supports teaching and research. The following practical suggestions for improvements in performance measurement are discussed: (1) greater involvement of a variety of constituents; (2) more systematic and structured approach; (3) greater proactivity; (4) wider application of information technology; (5) greater emphasis on the user perspective; and (6) more time. (Contains 10 references.) (Author/SWC)
Morgan, S. (1995). How Well Are We Doing? Common Themes and Possible Solutions in Academic Libraries. Presented at Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services 1995.