ESP in the UK:
from assessment to action
J. Stephen Town, Steve Hiller, Jim
Self and Martha Kyrillidou
Summary
• Background to the program
• The University of York
• The ESP process in York
• Findings
• Actions
• Observations...
Background to the program
ARL Supports the Assessment Community
• Tools
– ARL Statistics
– LibQUAL+®
– MINES for Libraries®
– ClimateQUAL™
– ARL Lib...
Key Reasons for Developing an
Assessment Consulting Service (2005-)
• LibQUAL+® results – what to do with them
• E-Metrics...
ARL Assessment Consulting Service
• Began in 2005 as “Making Library Assessment Work” (MLAW)
Assess the state of assessmen...
ESP Insights
• Strong interest in using assessment to improve
• Uncertainty on how to establish and sustain assessment
• L...
Rationale
• http://www.arl.org/stats/initiatives/esp/
• Those starting, prioritising or embedding
assessment activities
• ...
The University of York
and its Library & Archives
The University
• Founded 1963
• UK top ten; RAE 8th
;
World 81st
• 11,000 students
• >30 departments in
humanities, social...
The Library & Archives
• > 1m items
• >100 staff
• Traditional divisions
• Archives extensive &
unique
• Developing digita...
The ESP process in York
Sustainable assessment week 21-29 Jun 2008
• LibQUAL+ Results meeting
• International benchmarking seminar
• ESP Dinner wi...
Process observations
• No cultural issues, except …
• Compact and efficient process
• Commitment and insight
• Similar to ...
Post visit
• Report delivered and finalised promptly
• Incorporation into Library planning cycle
• Feedback to broader Uni...
Findings
Current position
• Budget issues
• National Student Survey results disappointing
• Inadequate reporting of survey results
...
Suggestions and options 1
1. Practices and procedures for assessment
1. Assessment group and leadership
2. Training
3. Cul...
Suggestions and options 2
4. Processes review
1. Classification system
2. Acquisition process review
5. LibQUAL+ results f...
Actions and achievements
Progress 1
• Culture change and promotion
– Middle management training & quality focus
– University Staff survey 2009
– Al...
Progress 2
• LibQUAL+ follow up and embedding
– 2009 survey, results and breakdowns
– Devolvement to proto-evaluation grou...
University of York
LibQUAL+
2008 to 2009 trends
• Superiority mean scores
improved across all but one of the
22 core and 5...
Confounding factors
• Departure of performance measurement lead
and hiatus during replacement
– Leadership and assessment ...
Observations and conclusions
Benefits
• External view from professional experts
• Succinct and compelling report
• Broader scope than assessment alone
...
Conclusions
• ESP is transferable to institutions outside
North America
• The US origin can be a positive factor within
as...
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ESP in the UK: from assessment to action

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J. Stephen Town, Steve Hiller, Jim Self and Martha Kyrillidou. Delivered at the 8th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services, 17-20 August 2009, Istituto degli Innocenti, Florence, Italy.

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ESP in the UK: from assessment to action

  1. 1. ESP in the UK: from assessment to action J. Stephen Town, Steve Hiller, Jim Self and Martha Kyrillidou
  2. 2. Summary • Background to the program • The University of York • The ESP process in York • Findings • Actions • Observations and conclusions
  3. 3. Background to the program
  4. 4. ARL Supports the Assessment Community • Tools – ARL Statistics – LibQUAL+® – MINES for Libraries® – ClimateQUAL™ – ARL Library Scorecard Initiative (2009-) • Building a Community of Practice – Library Assessment Conferences – Service Quality Evaluation Academy – Library Assessment blog – Workshops • Individual Library Consultation (Jim and Steve) – Effective, Sustainable, Practical Library Assessment
  5. 5. Key Reasons for Developing an Assessment Consulting Service (2005-) • LibQUAL+® results – what to do with them • E-Metrics data – how to understand them • New emphasis on outcomes-based assessment from accreditation agencies and associations • Data driven university administrations • Establishing sustainable assessment programs • Article by Jim and Steve, “From Measurement to Management” . . . Library Trends , Summer 2004, highlighted issues involved with data collection, analysis and use (or non-use) in libraries.
  6. 6. ARL Assessment Consulting Service • Began in 2005 as “Making Library Assessment Work” (MLAW) Assess the state of assessment efforts in individual research libraries, identify barriers and facilitators of assessment, and devise pragmatic approaches to assessment that can flourish in different local environments” • Funded by participating libraries; limited to ARL members • Conducted by Steve Hiller and Jim Self under the aegis of Martha Kyrillidou of ARL • In 2007 changed to “Effective, Sustainable and Practical Library Assessment” (ESP) and opened up to all libraries • 41 libraries visited since February 2005 – 38 in North America (32 ARL libraries) – 3 others in Israel, South Africa and UK
  7. 7. ESP Insights • Strong interest in using assessment to improve • Uncertainty on how to establish and sustain assessment • Lack of assessment knowledge among staff • Underutilization of campus assessment resources • More data collection than data utilization • Effectiveness not dependent on library size or budget • Each library has a unique culture and mission • Organizational issues play a significant role in sustainable assessment
  8. 8. Rationale • http://www.arl.org/stats/initiatives/esp/ • Those starting, prioritising or embedding assessment activities • Evaluating current activities • Accreditation requirements • Developing a quality culture • LibQUAL+ active
  9. 9. The University of York and its Library & Archives
  10. 10. The University • Founded 1963 • UK top ten; RAE 8th ; World 81st • 11,000 students • >30 departments in humanities, social sciences, science • Campus growth • Collegiate and inclusive
  11. 11. The Library & Archives • > 1m items • >100 staff • Traditional divisions • Archives extensive & unique • Developing digital library expertise • New Director 2007
  12. 12. The ESP process in York
  13. 13. Sustainable assessment week 21-29 Jun 2008 • LibQUAL+ Results meeting • International benchmarking seminar • ESP Dinner with senior University staff • Senior Management Team session – UK, University and quality contexts, including 2008 survey results • Team sessions with Library divisions (4) • Future initiatives – SPEC Kit; WUN collaboration
  14. 14. Process observations • No cultural issues, except … • Compact and efficient process • Commitment and insight • Similar to traditional UK consultancy or peer review, but …
  15. 15. Post visit • Report delivered and finalised promptly • Incorporation into Library planning cycle • Feedback to broader University • Follow up value for more remote participants?
  16. 16. Findings
  17. 17. Current position • Budget issues • National Student Survey results disappointing • Inadequate reporting of survey results • Assessment not embedded • Culture values precedent and regulation • LibQUAL+ scores low
  18. 18. Suggestions and options 1 1. Practices and procedures for assessment 1. Assessment group and leadership 2. Training 3. Culture 2. An Assessment plan 3. Culture promotion 1. From budget to real costs 2. From regulation to user perspective 3. From risk aversion to ‘why not?’
  19. 19. Suggestions and options 2 4. Processes review 1. Classification system 2. Acquisition process review 5. LibQUAL+ results follow-up 6. Review collection development and liaison 7. Seek areas of collaboration between Library and the Archives
  20. 20. Actions and achievements
  21. 21. Progress 1 • Culture change and promotion – Middle management training & quality focus – University Staff survey 2009 – All staff Awayday 2009 (User perspectives on library value) – Project styles • Process review – Redesign of acquisition process to remove repeat touches and increase trust across organisational boundaries – Reclassification proposal under consideration; supported by University senior managers
  22. 22. Progress 2 • LibQUAL+ follow up and embedding – 2009 survey, results and breakdowns – Devolvement to proto-evaluation group – Improved results across almost all items and disciplines • NSS results improvement – Moved from 78% overall to 81% – Met first improvement target • Academic liaison transformation – Additional substantial investment – Role development and career paths
  23. 23. University of York LibQUAL+ 2008 to 2009 trends • Superiority mean scores improved across all but one of the 22 core and 5 local questions • The other item remained constant • Discipline adequacy scores improved in all but six cases • Information control overall adequacy score moved from negative to positive • Substantial improvements in convenient service hours and online course support items (the latter also out of the red)
  24. 24. Confounding factors • Departure of performance measurement lead and hiatus during replacement – Leadership and assessment group – In house capability and training • Major library refurbishment program • Creation of Information directorate and closer working with IT Services
  25. 25. Observations and conclusions
  26. 26. Benefits • External view from professional experts • Succinct and compelling report • Broader scope than assessment alone • Specific recommendations outside the comfort zone • Institutional and organisational acceptance • Same language
  27. 27. Conclusions • ESP is transferable to institutions outside North America • The US origin can be a positive factor within aspirant world class institutions • Practical and strategic insight very strong (and unexpected?) • Successful in this case in contributing to culture, community and value
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