ST 31/10: Library assessment


The Association for Research Libraries is organizing an interesting conference on “our” topics in October:

The program gives a good picture of “what’s up” – in the United States, I feel.

Megan Oakleaf
(Syracuse University)

will engage participants in answering three questions:

  1. What is the purpose of learning outcomes assessment in my library?
  2. What assessment tools can I use? What are the strengths and limitations of each? How do I choose the right one for my campus?
  3. How will my choices impact teaching and learning? How will I “close the loop”?
  4. How might I use learning outcomes assessment to highlight the value of my library to my overarching institution?

Looks like more than three, though …. 😉

Raynna Bowlby and Martha Kyrillidou
(Association of Research Libraries)

will enable staff responsible for administering the LibQUAL+® survey to develop work plans that they can apply in their libraries in order to: perform some simple analyses of the quantitative and qualitative results data, present the results visually, make comparisons, identify what is actionable, organize their colleagues and committees to work with LibQUAL+®, present the results effectively to different stakeholders, utilize data to target areas for improvement, and develop a process of continuous assessment.

Ray Lyons
(independent consultant)

will provide a survey of best practices in graphical presentation of quantitative information.

The key requirements for the graphical presentation of quantitative data are clarity, accuracy, fairness, and thoroughness. Session topics include selection of chart types appropriate for the data, devising informative labeling, use of color and fonts, enhancing the interpretability of data points, choosing axis scaling, avoiding “chartjunk,” transforming data to reveal latent patterns, communicating numerical evidence effectively, and using graphs in intermediate analytical steps to gain a fuller understanding of the data.

Lyons is independent minded as well as independent. I strongly recommend his blog Lib(rary) performance. Trenchant.

Neal K. Kaske/Roberta Shaffer
(NOAA)/(Library of Congress)

the workshop will focus on examining “Return on Effort” as an effectiveness measure where institutions are asked to look at the costs of current processes/efforts and deciding to continue or discontinue a process; cutting out what is not needed and the surrounding decision making process. The concept of “Intellectual influence” and the “expected value of our efforts” will also be discussed. This involves comparing the cost of current processes/efforts with the expected value provided to customers and demonstrating how libraries help in intangible ways while placing a dollar value on these services and activities. Last issues related to the “economic impact of libraries” and how they save other community stakeholders money will be discussed. Return on Investment (ROI) applications will also be discussed as they have been applied to select library services.

Donna Tolson
(University of Virginia)

… this workshop will introduce you to the concept of the Balanced Scorecard, an assessment-based management approach used for 20 years in the private sector, and more recently adopted by governmental agencies, non-profit organizations, and libraries. You will learn how to develop a strategy map, draft some goals for your organization, and discuss scorecard metrics and targets. Through case studies, you will hear about the challenges and advantages realized by a few libraries that have used this approach to manage change in their organizations.

John Bertot
(University of Maryland)

Increasingly, libraries are being asked to demonstrate the value that they bring to their communities. Too often, librarians rely on data or stories without considering their audiences, how best to use their data, or developing a narrative that weaves library services, resources, and impact. This session focuses on helping librarians develop data-driven advocacy products and strategies to articulate library value, impact, quality, and use. In particular, the session will discuss messaging, branding, audience targeting, and creating a range of outreach approaches through web-based content, publications, webinars, social media technologies, and others


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