Tuesday, June 9, 2009

NISO Assessment and Performance Measures Meeting June 1, 2009 Baltimore.

There were a number of really good speakers that day. Here are some highlights from key points from my perspective.

From Steve Hiller - UWashington
We live in a competitive world. Even in academe there is competition. Key questions we need to ask ourselves:
  • What do we need to know about our customers to succeed?
  • What do our stakeholders need to know?
  • How do we measure our services, programs, resources to fill our customers needs and stakeholders expectations?
Libraries have generally collected performance measures in an input/output format (number of checkouts, gate count, number of volumes held, etc.). While these measures are generally easy to document they do not provide real outcome measures. They do not measure value or quality. They do not necessarily measure what is important to either your customers or your stakeholders. We need to be measuring what difference we make to our patrons, to the university, and the research process.

Back to competition. If you take the libraries budget - say $25M over ten years that is a quarter of a billion dollars. What kind of return did the university get on that investment? What other things could it have invested in that it didn't?

As an organization we need to be measuring:
  • Libraries contribution to teaching and research
  • The value of the library to the community
  • Changes in library use and what that means to the community
  • Our organizational effectiveness
  • Our collaborations
We have to keep asking are we measuring stuff that is easy to measure or important to measure?

Ideas for new metrics:
  • Uniqueness of collections
  • Value of consortia
  • Efficiencies of administration and budget
  • ROI
  • Data access, organization, and preservation
  • Contribution to faculty research
  • Generating new knowledge
  • Student outcomes and student learning
From Susan Gibbon's URochester
  • Libraries glorious past as the "heart" of the campus is not our future.
  • For the library, there are competing interest at the university level and we need to be articulating the value we are providing.
  • We need both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • The largeness of the collection does not equal its effectiveness or how it makes a difference.
  • Assessment is a shared responsibility throughout the organization. We need to build a culture that values assessment and is customer centric. Assessment has to be local.
  • By the time something is a trend we are too late.
  • They actually walk around occasionally and document how stuff is being used.
  • They have inserted the library into a number of "non-library" areas. The library is part of the writing program and is part of Student Services where librarians become advisers.
URocherster libraries recently completed a two year study on their graduate students and how they went about becoming the next generation of scholars through their dissertation process. Their report is in their IR.

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