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Library Assessment For Mortenson Associates October 16, 2007. Bob Burger, Professor Emeritus University of Illinois Library. Outline. Why assessment? The assessment paradigm Types of assessment Assessment instruments ARL New Measures Program Building an Assessment Program

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library assessment for mortenson associates october 16 2007

Library Assessment For Mortenson AssociatesOctober 16, 2007

Bob Burger, Professor


University of Illinois Library

  • Why assessment?
  • The assessment paradigm
  • Types of assessment
  • Assessment instruments
  • ARL New Measures Program
  • Building an Assessment Program
  • Culture of Assessment
  • Key challenges
  • The Customer Centered Library
why assessment
Why Assessment?
  • Is our library accomplishing its goals and how well are we accomplishing them?
  • Are we a good library or a bad library?
  • How can we improve?
  • What is needed to improve?
  • Can we justify the expenditure of current resources?
  • How can we justify additional resources?
why assessment continued
Why Assessment continued
  • Peter Drucker suggests several steps:
    • What is our business and what should it be?
    • Create clear goals and objectives.
    • Identify priorities, set deadlines, make individuals responsible for results.
    • Define measurements of performance.
    • Build feedback from results into their system.
    • Perform audits of objects and results and take corrective action when needed.
the assessment paradigm
The Assessment Paradigm
  • Resources > Capability > Utilization > Impact
  • Resources: input measures
  • Capability: processing measures
  • Utilization: output measures
  • Impact: outcome measures
assessment paradigm continued
Assessment paradigm continued
  • Input measures: resources allocated (annual budget, size of collection, number of staff)
  • Process measures: transform resources into activities (quantify time or cost to perform specific task or activity such as ordering, receiving, cataloging)
  • Output measures: how inputs and processes utilized (annual circulation, number of reference questions answered, number of users served)
assessment paradigm continued1
Assessment paradigm continued
  • Outcome measures: difficult to assess, relates to both individual served and to community
types of assessment
Types of Assessment
  • Satisfaction of the customer.
  • Satisfaction of the worker.
  • Workflow effectiveness and speed.
  • Service delivery effectiveness and speed.
  • Cost benefit analysis.
  • Legality of actions performed.
  • Social justice and ethics.
assessment instruments
Assessment Instruments
  • Surveys
  • Focus groups
  • Web usability studies
  • Secret shopper
  • Specific testing
  • Best practices
  • Service level agreements
assessment instruments continued
Assessment Instruments continued
  • Balanced Scorecard (an array of assessment tools in four areas)
    • Financial – How does the library look to stakeholders?
    • Customer – How do customers see the library?
    • Internal – In what areas must the library excel?
    • Innovation and learning – Can the library continue to improve and create value?
arl new measures program
ARL New Measures Program
  • User satisfaction
  • Market penetration
  • Ease and breadth of access
  • Library impact on teaching and learning
  • Library impact on research
  • Cost effectiveness of library operations and services
  • Library facilities and space
  • Organizational capacity
arl new measures program1
ARL New Measures Program
  • LibQUAL+™ is a rigorously tested Web-based survey that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality.
  • The DigiQUAL™ project is modifying and repurposing the existing LibQUAL+™ protocol to assess the services provided by digital libraries.
arl new measures program2
ARL New Measures Program
  • MINES for Libraries™ is an online transaction- based survey that collects data on the purpose of use of electronic resources and the demographics of users.
  • Collectively all three are under the name StatsQual
  • See
arl new measures program3
ARL New Measures Program
  • Assessment conference proceedings
building an assessment program
Building an Assessment Program
  • Leadership
  • Who does it (individual, committee)
  • Infrastructure (measurement and evaluation skills, data collection methods, sampling, analysis software)
  • Library culture (political process, positive deviance)
  • Environment and constituencies
  • Rewards and incentives
the customer centered library
The Customer Centered Library
  • Allservices and activities are viewed through the eyes of the customers
  • Customers determine quality
  • Library services and resources add value to the customer

User-centered libraries “collect data and use them as the basis for decision-making rather than rely on subjective impressions and opinions”

(Stoffle, Renaud and Veldof, “Choosing Our Futures”, C&RL, 1996)

culture of assessment
Culture of Assessment
  • Mission, planning and policies are customer centered
  • Performance measures and time frames in strategic planning documents
  • Assessment part of normal work processes; all staff encouraged to participate
  • Continuous communication maintained with customers through needs assessment and other measurements
culture of assessment1
Culture of Assessment
  • All library programs and services evaluated for quality and impact; assessment will focus on the processes, procedures, and services rather than on individual
  • Staff have the opportunity and resources to improve their skills to better serve users.
library leadership role
Library leadership role
  • Customer-centered
  • Strong support from University Librarian AND other library administrators and managers
  • Willing to commit resources/staff for assessment
  • Evidence of data-based decision making
  • “Walk the Talk”; make assessment visible in library
  • Help shape organizational culture
key challenges
Key Challenges
  • Library leadership
  • Customer centered library
  • Organizational culture and structure
  • Identifying responsibility for assessment
  • Library priorities
  • Sufficiency of resources
  • Assessment skills and expertise
  • Analyzing and presenting results
  • Using results to improve libraries
library assessment
Library Assessment
  • Thank you for your interest and attention!
  • Bob Burger