Purpose - This article aims to describe two methods - critical incident and return on investment - that can be used to measure and demonstrate explicit and derived value of academic libraries. Results from several studies that use these methods are described in the context of the Lib-Value project, funded by the US Institute of Museum and Library Services.Design methodology approach - A series of surveys using the critical incident of the last article reading by faculty are used to gather information on the purpose, outcomes, and the value of scholarly article readings and access to collections through the library. Both qualitative and quantitative data are collected through web-based surveys.Findings - Over half of scholarly article readings by faculty are for research purposes and readings for research purposes were more likely to be obtained from the library's electronic collections and are valued more highly than readings for other purposes or from other sources. In a study of ROI to grants from the library's journal collections, results show that for every dollar invested in the library faculty attribute many more dollars returned in grant income through more successful grant proposals.Research limitations implications - Return on investment is one method for measuring the value of a library's collections and services; others include measuring outcomes through critical incident and qualitative "stories". Ongoing studies will examine how the library's products and services help faculty be successful, help students be successful, and generate both immediate and downstream income that provides good return on investment.Originality value - This paper highlights methods to measure the value of academic libraries as well as reporting findings from several studies that reflect changes in scholarly article readings over time. This type of research helps libraries demonstrate their value and gather evidence to choose from among alternatives.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe bibliometrics as an emergent field for academic libraries. There is a constant need to adapt to the ongoing changes and new demands of today's information environment, and the increasing importance of bibliometrics certainly presents a great opportunity for librarians to broaden their horizon.Design methodology approach - The ideas outlined here are based on supporting information derived from literature and on practical experience gained at the Vienna University Library, Austria. A rationale is given why libraries should provide bibliometric services followed by a short overview of how the Bibliometrics Department in Vienna came into being. The focus of the paper is set on a detailed description of its practices and activities.Findings - Bibliometrics is ideal for librarians to develop and provide innovative services for both academic and administrative university staff. In doing so they make sure to actively participate in the development of new strategies and in fostering innovation. Peer-review is increasingly complemented by quantitative methods like bibliometrics, and librarians are predestined to fill this role and strengthen their on-campus position. Furthermore bibliometrics is an emerging field in "Information Science", thus librarians should make use of their experiences gained from bibliometric services provided or projects engaged in and disseminate their findings in the scientific community.Practical implications - The case study of the Bibliometrics Department in Vienna can be useful for other academic libraries who wish to become more engaged in this field or even plan to implement according services.Originality value - This is an original paper, which has been presented at the QQML 2011 in Athens. It provides useful information on how an academic library can adopt bibliometrics as a core role.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to suggest move beyond examining the impact of the library from the library's perspective but rather to collaborate with university-wide assessment efforts to determine the impact of the library from the student's perspective, the instructor's perspective, or the researcher's perspective.Design methodology approach - A limited number of studies have been conducted in an attempt to determine the impact of the use of the library's physical or electronic resources, reference services, and the library as place. Considerably more studies have been prepared that have examined library instruction programs and information literacy programs although the results paint a very mixed picture. A majority of the evaluation efforts for information literacy programs have used opinion surveys, skills testing, and observed actual behavior using rubrics and other methods. A consistent criticism of such studies has been the small sample size and the lack of replication of such studies. Clearly an approach that collaborates with the university's assessment efforts and allows the library to determine the correlation levels between use of a library collection or service and a desired university outcome will be welcome by all academic libraries.Findings - The suggested approach is to combine library usage data with university data. In the best of worlds the library data would be combined with both indirect measures of learning (such as student persistence, graduation rates) as well as direct measures of student learning such as the Collegiate Learning Assessment, Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency, and the Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress. If university libraries were to embark on a coordinated program of data analysis then the results would have greater credibility and impact within the university.Practical implications - The paper provides a set of recommendations for combining library data (where the identification of each user is preserved) with institutional performance and demographic data for each user (after which the unique identification information can be eliminated so as to preserve the privacy and confidentiality rights of the user). The resulting large data set can be then used to explore possible relationships between use of library services and important outcomes - student success, student retention, graduation rates, and so forth that is necessary in order to demonstrate the value of the academic library.Social implications - Once libraries have a better understanding of the impacts of specific library services in the lives of their students, faculty and researchers, libraries can enhance services that produce positive results and drop services that have marginal or no value. The end result will be that academic libraries will better serve the needs of their customers.Originality value - This paper offers a new broad perspective that will encourage libraries to undertake a collaborative effort with others on campus in order to better assess the impact of the academic library.
Purpose - This study aims at identifying Andrews University's students' perceptions, behavior, use, and attitudes towards e-textbook and e-books in general. Design/methodology/approach - In the Fall semester of 2001-2012, Andrews University's bookstore offered 74 e-textbooks for purchase. The teachers who had the opportunity of using these e-textbooks for their classes were asked to distribute two questionnaires to their students: one to those who chose to buy and use the e-textbook and a slightly different one to those who chose the traditional print textbook. The results were tabulated and compared to the results of similar studies since 2001. Findings - A 65 percent return rate was obtained. Several findings closely replicate results of many studies on this area. For more than a decade, studies show that students prefer the hardcover book over the e-book for their studies. Lack of awareness, not knowing how to get it, eyestrain, and difficulty of reading are the main culprits for students not using e-books more often. However, those who use e-books report they are generally satisfied. Students would like to enjoy fewer restrictions on printing and copying, PDA accessibility, more titles in their area of studies and better e-book readers. They do not usually read e-books cover to cover. The library is not their main point of entry or search for e-books. Students value portability, instant access, light weight and ability to store large amounts of materials. Research limitations/implications - The sample population was limited to the classes which had access to an e-textbook. A broader and more complete understanding could have been obtained if the study included all of the student population. It is not possible to generalize the findings due to the fact that the study was done in a specific academic setting. Practical implications - Universities and libraries are highly engaged in this topic at the present moment. Results of studies like this one will provide data useful for collection development policies and the pedagogy adopted by faculty in the classroom. Social implications - This is a topic that is of increasing importance in all parts of the world, and is affecting how people and, more specifically, students read and learn. It has the potential of changing reading habits and how students absorb information and knowledge, as well as how they use libraries. Originality/value - E-books will have a definitive impact in new models of acquiring, accessing, and distributing information materials for and to the academic community. The paper will help the library better understand students' preferences and study habits which will have an impact on decisions regarding types of services it should provide and collection building decisions.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relative effectiveness of different forms of Facebook advertising in promoting the collections and services of academic libraries.Design methodology approach - The results of several Facebook advertising campaigns conducted by an academic library in Hong Kong are presented and analyzed. Statistics were gathered from the advertising application integrated into the social networking platform. Conclusions are drawn based on a comparison of the performance metrics of the different advertising approaches that were employed.Findings - In line with an earlier study, the results provide further support for the view that social network advertising has the potential to be a cost-effective means of marketing academic libraries. It was also found that advertising strategies that draw upon the social features of Facebook were more effective than traditional approaches.Research limitations implications - Since only the experience of a single institution is considered, it cannot be definitively stated that social network advertising will be effective in every institutional context. However, the results provide a basis for academic libraries to consider experimenting with this form of marketing.Originality value - In contrast with the business and commercial sector, the potential of paid social network advertising has received scant attention from professionals working in non-profit making organizations. This paper provides evidence that such initiatives can have a significant and measurable impact in their outreach efforts with minimal financial outlay.
Purpose - The paper aims to demonstrate a range of approaches to promoting innovative thought and action which can be applied in a variety of organisational contexts.Design methodology approach - The paper describes strategies adopted by one large academic library which sought to increase employee engagement and levels of innovation. Included is the background situation, a description of cultural change activities undertaken, information on provision of a suite of practical innovation process tools, and reference to relevant literature.Findings - The leadership framework of RMIT University, and associated developmental opportunities, benefit the library which also offers a tailored developmental programme for its leadership group. Specific purpose groups are used in the library to build capacity and promote cultural change. The library promotes involvement in professional associations and supports innovation through the provision of practical tools and techniques which can be used by staff at all levels. Building an innovative culture is challenging in a large organisation, but sustaining effort over time, utilising a variety of approaches and developing positive sub-cultures among motivated staff have been found to be beneficial.Originality value - By describing strategies to promote an innovative organisational culture, the paper has originality. Most related library literature addresses specific innovations.
Purpose - This paper aims to highlight the productivity and collaborative features of Mendeley, a reference management tool, as well as recommendations on how Mendeley can be incorporated into an information literacy program.Design methodology approach - Results from a literature review and feedback from students and faculty were used to provide background for this paper. Mendeley's features and potential benefits to librarians and researchers are discussed.Findings - Feedback from students and faculty who use Mendeley are very positive owing to its productivity and social networking and collaboration features. The literature highlights Mendeley's usefulness in the context of citation management software.Practical implications - The paper provides useful tips and best practices for integrating Mendeley into information literacy sessions and workshops for students and faculty. The paper also discusses how teaching Mendeley can facilitate scholarly communication between researchers and broaden the role of librarians on campus.Originality value - The paper shows that Mendeley enables higher level information literacy by helping users focus on locating and organizing information and spend less time on citation details. Mendeley's social networking features are compatible with emerging work practices, facilitating collaboration among researchers through group's functions and open sharing of information through groups and publication lists.
Purpose - The article aims to describe challenges undergraduate students face in using scholarly articles and a workshop on reading designed to address those challenges. It seeks to present a study of senior public relations students' use, attitudes and confidence levels in using scholarly material. Design/methodology/approach - Fourth-year students who had participated in a reading workshop in their third year were surveyed before and after a workshop. The survey included qualitative questions on how students used scholarly articles, challenges they faced and strategies for using scholarly articles. A knowledge survey section assessed students' confidence levels in answering questions about a specific article. This section was re-administered after the workshop. Findings - Students use articles when they are required by assignments and/or to add authority to arguments. Students find jargon, length and mathematical aspects of articles challenging. They use a variety of strategies including summarizing, highlighting, and discussing articles with others. Some of these strategies correlated with higher knowledge survey scores. Research limitations/implications - This was a relatively small study done on senior students in one course, but may be generalizable to students in other disciplines. Practical implications - The study provides information on students' use of scholarly articles, and seems to indicate that instruction in techniques for reading has a beneficial effect on student attitudes and confidence levels. Originality/value - The article provides direction for practice and research in information literacy instruction, expanding it beyond locating scholarly materials to interpreting and using them.
Purpose - As discovery systems take the library world by storm, there is a new opportunity for user-centred information literacy programs to emerge. This paper aims to explore the impact that new web-scale discovery systems might have on information literacy programs and pedagogical approaches to library instruction.Design methodology approach - Utilizing both a conceptual approach and a case study of one particular library, various questions and possible answers are discussed with the goal of opening new avenues for information literacy instruction.Findings - Discovery systems offer new possibilities to shift instruction programs away from their historical focus on explanatory searching and citing, towards exploratory higher level thinking in relation to evaluating and using information itself. As library search gets easier and varied platforms become unified, the focus of information literacy on search rules and platform choice and navigation is (finally) able to truly give way to critical thinking and imaginative exploration.Originality value - Many libraries have recently or are currently adopting discovery systems, but few have begun to explore and recognize the potential for a new era of instructional possibilities. This paper acts as a base for continuing exploration and discussion in this area.
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to establish a transparent, integrated approach to leadership competency development and succession management to respond to drivers associated with an ageing workforce, leadership drain and the enticement of people into leadership roles.Design methodology approach - A consultant was engaged to facilitate a review of the UOW Library's leadership situation. Key to this process and subsequent activities was the use of the Lominger Leadership competencies; measurable characteristics related to success in the workplace to establish the desired leadership profile. Career interviews, professional coaching and targeted assignments were integral to the development of needed competencies.Findings - The paper finds that feedback from peers, managers and staff was a significant component of the evaluation strategy. Formal assessment took place through the use of the Lominger's VOICES® 360-degree feedback instrument, an institutional employee climate survey and recertification against the Investors in People standard. Results showed improved self-confidence in leaders, a greater preparedness to address underperformance, and that career and developmental plans were more considered and constructive in their design. Significant improvement in leadership performance was noted in a later employee climate survey.Practical implications - A commitment by the executive or senior leadership team is critical to this type of developmental program. Considerable energy and time is required from all parties involved, e.g. scheduling time for workshops, coaching sessions, subsequent actions and review; challenging in an environment of ever-increasing priorities. Challenging also is the management of perceptions and expectations of staff. There was some disaffection from staff who were not included in the first round of coaching. Subsequently, opportunities to support both external and internal coaching are being investigated.Originality value - A commitment to new methods to support and evaluate leadership development initiatives resulted in changed perceptions of leadership aspiration, aptitude and ability. The identification of required competencies provided improved goal clarity, insight on how to become skilled in a given competency, and a reference point for evaluation. Importantly the performance of leaders has improved. There is qualitative and quantitative data to demonstrate both a commitment to leadership development and the application of desired behaviours associated with the competencies. The capacity to grow and promote from within has also improved; evidence that the succession management initiative is being achieved.
Purpose - Research productivity is often counted as a major factor in evaluations and promotion. Librarians have had to find a way to pursue research along with performing job duties and professional service. Collaborative research can provide an effective solution for busy librarians who need to show a record of research. Additionally, it can be a cost-effective means for library administrators to promote library faculty output in the face of reduced travel and research budgets. This paper seeks to address these issues.Design methodology approach - In developing their research group, the authors began with a small, informal collaboration on an article describing new staffing models for library outreach. As the writing of the article proceeded, the group developed a more formal structure. As that article reached completion, the purpose of the group expanded to that of fostering creativity and following creative leads to a publishable (or presentable) conclusion.Findings - In the two years during which the writing group has been working together, it has produced four articles and nine presentations, with several in-progress efforts. In addition, the writing group has encouraged members to develop individual projects for presentation and publication outside of the group's scope.Practical implications - The authors offer recommendations to other professionals interested in forming collaborative writing groups and to library administrators interested in encouraging their staffs to develop productive working relationships.Originality value - Few articles have been written about collaboration among librarians to promote their own research and publication. The authors describe in this paper an informal, yet highly effective means to foster faculty research productivity.
Purpose - Like any other customer-centred organisation, the library has a variety of methods at its disposal to gather information from and about its customers, such as usage data, survey results, focus groups, and face-to-face opportunistic encounters. Given that using survey instruments is currently the main way that libraries engage with their customers this paper seeks to look at how librarians can ensure that their surveys are of the best possible quality. It then aims to present two case studies.Design methodology approach - The paper discusses successful methods for engaging customers, both online and in person, in conversation with particular reference to new generation learners, and the need to demonstrate to participants that their opinions are heard and have an impact. The paper then discusses two case studies of work undertaken at Victoria University of Wellington Library. In the first case the Library sought student participation and input to Te R p Whakamanawa, a working group convened to address the needs of M ori and Pasifika academic staff and students. In the second case the Library undertook a larger process of gathering client and stakeholder feedback as part of a wider ranging "Library services for the future" review. The customer engagement was extensive and robust, including 32 focus group sessions with a diverse range of people, and additional online feedback channels for wider university engagement.Findings - The future-focussed academic library must be distinguished by the scope and quality of its service programs. To be successful the design and development of those services have to be shaped and informed by the customers.Originality value - The paper examines the ways in which academic libraries can seek to understand the expectations of their customers, particularly those in minority groups, in order to be able to plan for the future.
Purpose - This paper seeks to focus on identifying the searching behaviours of users, their difficulties as well as their expectations from library supports while using online databases at the Central Library of Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City.Design methodology approach - Usage reports of six online databases subscribed by the Central Library were analyzed, a survey by emailing users a questionnaire and four deep interviews were conducted.Findings - The amount of usage increases yearly, however it is still low in comparison with the number of subscribers who have registered for using online databases. Users did search for their research and study rather than for their teaching or professional knowledge update. Often they looked for journal articles and theses rather than e-books. Key words and titles were used the most when searching. Reading the guidance from the library websites or from the databases was most used. This suggested that most users did not know how to use the databases and preferred to learn by themselves. Email was preferred by users to communicate with library staff. English language and database searching skills were the biggest barriers preventing users from employing online databases.Originality value - This paper provides an understanding of users' behaviours and suggests that it is necessary to assist users in using online databases in Vietnam universities. Up to now, these issues have not been known. They are relevant to improving the utilization of online databases.
Purpose - While originally designed for the for-profit sector, the Balanced Scorecard has been adopted by non-profit and government organizations, including some libraries. This paper aims to focus on the continued experiences of two prominent North American research libraries, Johns Hopkins University and McMaster University. These two libraries were part of an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) pilot effort that included a total of four institutions, the two represented by the authors, plus the University of Virginia and the University of Washington. Design/methodology/approach - The authors use a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative aspects of the study are informal and theme-based. When examining commonalities between Scorecards or overlap between Scorecard measures and the ARL statistics program, matches are made based on broad themes regardless of the specific words used in the formulae. Findings - The participating libraries identified ten commonly measured "themes." These themes are defined as key areas of focus present in three out of the four local sites. Using the standardized four-perspective Scorecard framework, these themes are as follows: the customer - quality of physical space, customer satisfaction, instruction, document delivery, and collection preservation/discovery; financial health - revenue generation; learning and growth - employee satisfaction and diversity; internal processes - library promotion and assessment of services. Originality/value - The article explores the question; can libraries improve their arsenal of assessment tools by working alongside each other (as opposed to directly with each other) as they implement local organizational performance measurement instruments?
Purpose - Bringing together diverse areas of a university means having to work with several different methods and frameworks for measuring and assuring quality and identifying key performance indicators. The Business and Strategic Planning area of Library and Student Support at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) has been involved in such a case study, and this paper aims to present the findings of this work, which may be of interest to performance measurement practitioners.Design methodology approach - This paper applies a case study approach, in that the background of the institution and change management programme will be clearly presented in order that the subsequent overview of the performance management work can be placed into context. The newly-formed department already had several quality assurance and user satisfaction measurement instruments which were being used within the constituent parts of the service area (i.e. LibQUAL, SCONUL benchmarking exercises, Matrix assessment, enrolment surveys) as well as the results of the annual National Student Survey. The work in question has allowed for an investigation into how to establish a framework for inputting measurement and key performance data from all of these instruments and being able to respond to them as a single department. Having consulted some of the university's external corporate partners (namely Shop Direct and Merseytravel), the resulting framework now incorporates embedding departmental values and behaviours, and identifying particular moments of truth within the student lifecycle, where Library and Student Support has a particular impact on the student experience. By identifying these "moments of truth" the department is better placed to measure its impact and subsequently assure quality. The paper will present the experience of Library and Student Support in their efforts to find a single framework, made up of constituent methods and instruments, by which it can measure and assure quality.Findings - The findings of the paper bring together the method outlined above and allow for the dissemination of the first year's work of the Library and Student Support Quality Assurance Framework. At the time of writing, this is a work in progress, as the first year's data, analysis and resulting quality actions and responses are for the academic year 2010-2011. This paper presents an opportunity to find out how the framework was developed, constructed and implemented, how effective it has been and what further development needs to happen in order for the framework to continue to be effective.Originality value - Super-convergence of university support departments is becoming increasingly more common, and existing quality and performance measurement channels now appear less and less meaningful within this new paradigm. This case study should present itself as one of the first studies of a "whole service" approach to quality assurance within this new order, and will therefore be of great interest and value to anyone else currently working within the business, planning and quality areas of super-convergence.
Purpose - To increase the use of its resources and services, the Rizal Library of the Ateneo de Manila University embarked on a relationship marketing program targeted at three segments of the market, namely, the faculty, the graduate students and the undergraduate students. This paper aims to investigate this program.Design methodology approach - The paper reports the results of its program over a period of time to compare usage before and after the program was implemented.Findings - Results indicate that the program was successful in its implementation. Success indicators showed a marked increase in the use of its resources and services.Practical implications - More relationship marketing strategies involving the students and faculty should be introduced to further make the library more visible, open lines of communication between the library and its users and increase customer satisfaction.Originality value - The strategy increased library traffic. It could be adapted by other libraries to increase usage of their resources and facilities.
Purpose - This paper aims to introduce a research project investigating school library impact across the four home nations of the UK. The research aims to identify whether there are key contributions afforded by a school library or learning resource centre and by a school librarian, and if so, to offer case models and approaches which may be used to inform strategy and practice. The paper also aims to discuss the pilot phase of the research and explore the nature of impact assessment for school libraries adopted in American studies and UK literacy research, weighing their advantages and drawbacks. Consequent on this, it seeks to define a mixed-method approach for this study, combining multiple surveys and more detailed interviewing and focus group research within a selected and balanced sample of schools across the four home nations, and a correlation with school performance ranking. Design/methodology/approach - An online survey has been developed for circulation to secondary school students in all four of the UK home nations, mapping their perceptions and expectations of the place of the LRC and of the librarian within their school experience. Secondary schools in all four home nations were ranked according to Ofsted evaluation and league table performance. A sample of schools was selected from each nation and interviews are currently being conducted with management, teaching staff, librarians and with focus groups of school pupils. This is complemented by a survey of a sample of higher education students in different disciplines to identify their view of the contribution of the school library to preparedness for university study. Findings - Findings from the pilot phase of the research tend to support the hypothesis that a correlation may be traced between good library provision and positive pupil engagement with reading and information skills. Should the full research project discover positive stories in schools without an active library or librarian, this will complement the identification of critical success factors, towards informing possible library advocacy action and policy approaches. A key issue identified from the pilot phase for impact research in schools is that pupils and teachers both have considerable difficulty in articulating how they experience the differences that libraries and librarians contribute. A case bank of good practice material collected is being developed at University College London. Research limitations/implications - For maximum validity, the in-depth sample schools should include examples with and without a LRC and/or a school librarian, and both high and low performing schools. It is anticipated that the final profile may under-represent schools without a LRC and/or school librarian, where it has been found harder to engage cooperation from head teachers in participation in this study. Ideally, evidence of impact would require close mapping, at the individual pupil level, of performance and engagement with the library; this research does not include such mapping at a systematic level across all the sample schools. Originality/value - This research contributes to a key recommendation emerging from the work of the School Library Commission, by filling a gap in impact research on British secondary school libraries.