Posted by: mhdiaz | September 16, 2010

Communicating Academic Library Value

Lots of new studies are coming online which will set new guideposts to help academic libraries better surface and quantify the contributions that they are making to their institutions. 

  • ACRL has just released a new report – Value of Academic Libraries.  It offers a comprehensive overview of all of the ways that academic libraries create value for their institutions.  It calls on academic libraries to continue to ratchet up their efforts to quantify impacts on faculty and student success and even institutional rankings. There is also a good overview of the study in the associated podcast.  
  • A new ARL Spec Kit is also available for purchase.  ResourceShelf offers a good concise description.  Focusing on current impact measures in research libraries, it offers some interesting context on how value is being quantified by academic research libraries right now. 
  • Some of the most interesting research in this area continues to focus on how library resources contribute to securing grant funding for the parent institutions.  New studies are underway overseas, building on a seminal research project that was initially conducted at the University of Illinois and extended to a variety of other institutions in North America.  A really good overview of the initial study and follow on efforts can be found in a presentation by Paula Kaufmann, Dean of University of Illinois Library, from the NFAIS conference earlier this year. It will be important to watch this effort as it continues to evolve.

What other efforts are underway that can help academic libraries to quantify the full impact within their institutions, for academia, and for society more broadly? I would be interested to hear about other interesting research and projects that are underway right now.


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