Assessing the Impact of the Academic Library: From theory to practice.

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Presentation delivered at the 10th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services.

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Assessing the Impact of the Academic Library: From theory to practice.

  1. 1. Library Performance Measurement Conference 23rd July 2013 Selena Killick Library Quality Officer, Cranfield University @SelenaKillick Assessing the Impact of the Academic Library: From theory to practice
  2. 2. Cranfield University • The UK's only wholly postgraduate university focused on science, technology, engineering and management • One of the UK's top five research intensive universities • Annual turnover £150m • We deliver the UK Ministry of Defence's largest educational contract
  3. 3. Cranfield Locations Cranfield Defence & Security 375 Staff 1,250 Students 83% study part-time Barrington Library 185,000 Print items 13,000 eBooks 27,000 Journals 878,000 downloads* 364,000 chapter requests* 34,000 visits 20 Library Staff *Cranfield University
  4. 4. Value & Impact at the Barrington Library • Purpose: Identify and report on how the Library is impacting on the University • Method: Develop robust Library assessment process linked to University strategic objectives • Desired Outcome: Regular reporting to Library stakeholders on the impact of the service
  5. 5. Library Impact Theorists • Megan Oakleaf • Joe Matthews • Markless & Streatfield
  6. 6. Library Impact Theory • Focus on stakeholder values • Evidence how the Library impacts upon the mission and objectives of the University • Use existing information sources • Communicate impact • Key stakeholders • Library staff • Wider community If you're not going to communicate your results, don't bother doing assessment
  7. 7. VIP Timeline • July 2012 – Managerial approval • October 2012 – Team established • December 2012 – Project commenced • March 2013 – Phase 1 • April 2013 – Phase 2 • June 2013 – Phase 3 • August 2013 – Phase 4 • October 2013 – Phase 5 • December 2013 – Phase 6
  8. 8. VIP Team Barrington Library Library Customer Services Development & Systems Integration Library Support Team Academic Liaison Specialist Services
  9. 9. Cranfield University Strategic Plan Strategic Themes: • Enhance our research and innovation profile • Increase our impact globally • Inspire our people to achieve their full potential Key Enablers: • Excellent people and organisation • Financial sustainability • A collaborative and supportive environment
  10. 10. University Strategic Plan 2011-2015 Strategic Themes & Key Enablers Library Services, Activities, Resources, Expertise SMART Objectives Assessment Data Documented Impact Communicate Impact Reflection and continuous improvement Value & Impact Project Process Library Services, Activities, Resources, Expertise PHASE 1: ACTIVITIES What activities / services / expertise does the Library offer which supports the University Strategic Plan?
  11. 11. Phase 1: Activities • VIP Team reviewed Strategic Plan individual • Group discussion to identify activities • 65 different activities Strategic Themes: • Customer-facing Key Enablers: • Internal-facing
  12. 12. Phase 2: Rationalisation • Not possible to report on 65 different activities • Staff resources • Stakeholder sanity! • Strategically valuable activities identified by: • VIP Team (individually) • Head of Barrington Library • Feedback captured via Qualtrics
  13. 13. Phase 2: Rationalisation # Answer Response % 1 CRIS 5 100% 2 Access to electronic resources 5 100% 3 Literature reviews for research projects 5 100% 4 Support and input to the Research Newsletter 4 80% 5 Assistance with the creation of research bids 3 60% 6 Reports collection 2 40% 7 Secret PC access 1 20% 8 Shrivenham repository (defence portal) 1 20% 9 RLI Access 1 20% 10 Mobile technology library services 1 20% 11 Copyright training 1 20% 12 Digitisation services, including HESS requests for the VLE 1 20% 13 Enquiry answering 1 20% 14 Ezell collection 1 20% Strategic Theme: Enhance our research and innovation profile
  14. 14. Rationalisation Outcomes Strategic Theme / Key Enabler Library Activities Theme Enhance our research and innovation profile 4 Theme Increase our impact globally 4 Theme Inspire our people to achieve their full potential 4 Enabler Excellent people and organisation 1 Enabler Financial sustainability 3 Enabler A collaborative and supportive environment 3
  15. 15. Rationalisation: Challenges • Common viewpoint • Evidence influence choices • Distribution of activities • Themes Enablers • Library Teams
  16. 16. SMART ObjectivesSMART Objectives University Strategic Plan 2011-2015 Strategic Themes & Key Enablers Library Services, Activities, Resources, Expertise Assessment Data Documented Impact Communicate Impact Value & Impact Project Process PHASE 3: OBJECTIVES What tasks does the Library perform in order to achieve the strategically beneficial activities?
  17. 17. Phase 3: Objectives • VIP Team identify measurable library objectives for each of the 19 activities • 100+ possible objectives • Information sources identified for some
  18. 18. Information Sources • Reporting on existing information sources only • Internal & External • Qualitative & Quantitative • Networking Resist the urge to start counting
  19. 19. Examples Strategic Theme Library Service Objective Information Source Enhance our research and innovation profile Assistance with the creation of research bids Provide estimate costs for copyright cleared information Barrington Liaison Tool
  20. 20. Examples Strategic Theme Library Service Objective Information Source Increase our impact globally Provide and support CERES (University repository) Promote CERES through the publication of Usage Statistics Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (IRUS-UK)
  21. 21. Examples Strategic Theme Library Service Objective Information Source Inspire our people to achieve their full potential Research methods training and support for PhD students PhD satisfaction with library training LibQUAL+
  22. 22. Next Steps • Phase 4: Rationalisation of Objectives • Availability v. desire • Representative of department • Phase 5: Data collection & compilation • Phase 6: Communicating impact Perfect information is expensive or even unattainable
  23. 23. Desired Outcome Desired Outcome: Regular reporting to Library stakeholders on the impact of the service ? Dashboard ? Written reports ? Key performance indicators ? Intranet site
  24. 24. Considerations • Moving goalposts • New Library Strategy • New Vice-Chancellor • New University strategy…? • Resourcing • Prove v. Improve • Staff apprehensiveness We don’t assess to prove… … but to improve!
  25. 25. Thank You! Selena Killick s.a.killick@cranfield.ac.uk @SelenaKillick Tel: +44(0)1793 785561

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