Evaluating the Twenty-First Century Library: The Association of Research Libraries New Measures Initiative, 1997-2001

Overview

Explore the ARL’s initiatives for identifying, formulating, and testing new criteria for evaluating academic libraries in the digital age!

The proliferation of electronic information resources in the past decade has changed the ways in which research libraries evaluate their service and holdings. This collection of articles (thirteen of which previously appeared in ARL’s bimonthly newsletter/report on research issues and actions) examines new measures for library evaluation that...

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Overview

Explore the ARL’s initiatives for identifying, formulating, and testing new criteria for evaluating academic libraries in the digital age!

The proliferation of electronic information resources in the past decade has changed the ways in which research libraries evaluate their service and holdings. This collection of articles (thirteen of which previously appeared in ARL’s bimonthly newsletter/report on research issues and actions) examines new measures for library evaluation that are being developed by the Association of Research Libraries. It presents an overview of how the Association of Research Libraries’ “new measures” initiative developed, plus insightful reports on the details of the SERVQUAL, LibQUAL+, and E-metrics projects. Handy flow charts and tables make the information easily accessible and understandable.

From the editor: “The profound changes in library management and collection development brought about by digital technology in the closing decade of the twentieth century have changed the way we think about libraries. If we were to ask librarians who have been in the profession for more than a decade how they evaluated a library, we probably would hear statistics about the number of volumes held and added annually, the number of serial subscriptions, how much money a library has to spend, and how many professionals are on staff. These are the traditional criteria by which libraries have been judged throughout much of the twentieth century. Newer librarians, however, especially those who entered the profession in the late 1980s and 1990s, use a different yardstick and frequently recite different statistics that include terms such as user satisfaction, spending on electronic resources and services, document delivery services, numbers of databases and electronic journals available, and services provided to distance learners.”

In Evaluating the Twenty-First Century Library, you’ll find valuable information on:

  • current performance measures for academic libraries
  • the continuing search for accurate new performance measures
  • the uses of learning outcomes assessment
  • SERVQUAL, LibQUAL+, and the ARL LibQUAL+ Pilot Project
  • the results of the 2000 Symposium on Measuring Library Service Quality
  • the uses of E-metrics in assessing the academic networked environment and accurately measuring use, users, services, resources, and other factors
  • an insightful discussion of the rise in spending on electronic information by research libraries
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: David A. Nolfi, MLS (Duquesne University)
Description: This compilation of one original paper and 13 articles from the Association of Research Libraries' (ARL) bimonthly newsletter/report chronicles ARL's "new measures initiative." The authors discuss formulation of the initiative, the LibQUAL+ project to assess service quality, and the E-Metrics project to develop methods of describing and measuring electronic resource usage and expenditures.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a brief history of ARL's efforts to establish new library assessment tools consistent with higher education's trend toward measuring outcomes, performance, and value. This book meets its goals and simultaneously introduces concepts librarians need to begin transforming library measurements from traditional collection and budget statistics to assessments of library services and their contribution to institutional mission.
Audience: Although most appropriate for academic librarians, the book outlines useful ideas for any librarian attempting to develop relevant methods of assessing library services and electronic collections. The contributors represent a cross section of research library administrators, professional association authors, and university faculty members. Their expertise as well as their familiarity with the "new measures initiative" shows clearly in this work.
Features: The book discusses new directions in performance measures in higher education and how they impact performance measures in academic libraries. The authors explain how libraries employed SERVQUAL, a business quality assessment standard, as a new measurement tooland later used it as the basis of LibQUAL+, a tool for measuring library services and facilities. New questions arise in today's library environment of proliferating electronic resources including how to address fundamental issues such as defining use, counting users, and comparing budgets. The authors discuss the ARL E-Metrics project as one potential method of evaluating the substantial investments libraries are making in electronic collections.
Assessment: This brief introduction to evaluating libraries provides many useful, relevant references to websites and printed publications. It serves as an excellent starting point for librarians who want to learn more about current trends in assessment.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789019851
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Pages: 106
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • ASSOCIATION OF RESEARCH LIBRARIES NEW MEASURES INITIATIVE AND LEARNING OUTCOMES: AN OVERVIEW
  • Issues in Research Library Measurement
  • An Overview of Performance Measures in Higher Education and Libraries
  • In Search of New Measures
  • The Continuing Quest for New Measures
  • Establishing a Role for Research Libraries in Learning: Outcomes Assessment Programs
  • New Roles for Responsibilities for the University Library: Advancing Student Learning Through Outcomes Assessment
  • LIBRARY SERVICES QUALITY AND THE LibQUAL+ PROJECT
  • SERVQUAL and the Quest for New Measures
  • LibQUAL+: One Instrument in the New Measures Toolbox
  • The ARL “LibQUAL+” Pilot Project: An Update
  • Symposium on Measuring Library Service Quality
  • E-METRICS PROJECT
  • Assessing the Academic Networked Environment
  • Measuring Services, Resources, Users and Use in the Networked Environment
  • Round-Up of Other E-Metrics Developments
  • Research Library Spending on Electronic Scholarly Information Is on the Rise
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included
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