The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services / Edition 1

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Evaluations of libraries and the services they perform are seen as important tools for library managers and stakeholders. However, too many library evaluations simply focus on the routine process of gathering inputs and outputs within the context of traditional service measurements. Unfortunately, very few libraries actively pair these internal evaluations along with customer satisfaction outcomes to form a management tool that can drive service improvements across the library as a whole.

In this book, Matthews describes the wide array of existing tools that can be used to evaluate any library service, and introduces the reader to newer tools designed to measure customer and patron outcomes. He outlines and argues for a broader and more robust adoption of evaluation techniques in order to help library managers combine traditional internal measurements, such as circulation and reference transactions, with more customer-centric metrics—how well patrons feel they are served, and how satisfied they are with the library branch. The result of this strategy is the ability to form a truer picture of the value of the library to its stakeholders and its patrons.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Matthews provides useful overviews of several evaluation-related topics, pointing out potential lines of inquiry and pitfalls to avoid, as well as useful keywords and additional resources. With this book, busy librarians can quickly plan a project and gather the information they need to follow it through. …[L]ibrarians in all types of libraries should find this book a valuable addition to their professional toolkits."


Public Services Quarterly

"After a thorough discussion of methodology, Matthews devotes several chapters to particular aspects of library service, such as reference and interlibrary loan. Finally, he tells us how to use all the information we've gathered to make our case about the library's value to patrons and stakeholders and answer the most important question of all—what difference do we make?"


American Libraries

"[V]ery substantial treatment of the question of how to measure and evaluate library services….The book is impressive in its breadth of coverage of this topic, in particular its discussion of the variety of types of evaluation and measurement….[A]dministrators of academic or public libraries will find much to benefit from in this book….Matthews provides a well-organized, well-documented discussion of the design and execution of studies to measure and evaluate library services as well as numerous examples of pitfalls and mistakes that should be avoided as one seeks to conduct these evaluations."


Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Resear

"This handbook on the evaluation and measurement of library services merits acclaim as the definitive work on the subject….[B]rims over with useful and detailed advice for library administrators seeking to measure the effectiveness of extant library policies and practices and to implement meaningful change when warranted. The book covers major areas of library evaluation and measurement strategies, along with providing invaluable bibliographical references and sample measurement instruments….The true strength of this book is the author's expansive knowledge of his subject. Not only does he raise significant questions, but he also provides valuable answers."


College & Research Libraries

"This is a highly readable book. The writing is clear and concise and is accompanied by bullet lists, figures, and tables to summarize key points. The references at the end of each chapter provide the reader a set of excellent biographies. The book can serve as a textbook for those teaching introductory library evaluation and management, a selectable review for those seeking ideas for conducting an evaluation of specific services, or a reference tool for identifying sources and brief descriptions in response to questions about library evaluation and measurement."


Library & Information Science Research

"Intended for library directors and managers in all types of libraries, this guide's ultimate goal is to help librarians evaluate library services in order to improve them….Joseph Matthews writes in a clear narrative style. This is for librarians who want to conduct a more thorough evaluation of their libraries, but it also makes a solid college textbook. Recommended."


Library Media Connection

"There is no longer any excuse for libraries to avoid evaluation of services. Matthews, a library school instructor and library service consultant, provides the tools and insight needed to make the job, if not easy, at least comprehensible and doable. Intended for managers in all types of libraries, plus library students needing an authoritative source of information, the book delivers practical advice and solid research on almost all aspect of evaluation, including quantitative and qualitative tools, data analysis, and specific recommendations for evaluating and measuring individual services. …Highly recommended."


Canadian Library Association

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591585329
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/30/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

JOSEPH R. MATTHEWS. As a consultant, JOSEPH R MATTHEWS has assisted numerous libraries and local governments in a wide variety of projects, and teaches regularly in the areas of library information systems, strategic planning, and evaluation of library services.

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Table of Contents



Part I: Evaluation: Process and Models

Chapter 1: Evaluation Issues

Chapter 2: Evaluation Models

Part II: Methodology Concerns

Chapter 3: The Right Tools for the Job

Chapter 4: Qualitative Tools

Chapter 5: Quantative Tools

Chapter 6: Analysis of Data

Part III: Evaluation of Library Services

Chapter 7: Library Users and Non-Users

Chapter 8: Evaluation of the Physical Collection

Chapter 9: Evaluation of the Electronic Resources

Chapter 10: Evaluation of the Reference Services

Chapter 11: Evaluation of the Technical Services

Chapter 12: Evaluation of Interlibrary Loan

Chapter 13: Evaluation of Online Systems

Chapter 14: Evaluation of Bibliography/Library Instruction and Information Literacy

Chapter 15: Evaluation of Customer Services

Part IV: Evaluation of the Library

Chapter 16: Models for Evaluating the Broader Perspective

Chapter 17: Accomplishments: The Key to Realizing Value

Chapter 18: Economic Impacts

Chapter 19: Evaluation of Social Impacts

Chapter 20: Communicating the Value of the Library

Appendix A: Raward Library Usability Analysis Tool

Name Index

Subject Index

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