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An approach to evaluating Latin American university libraries

An approach to evaluating Latin American university libraries Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the current evaluation processes and experiences among Latin American university libraries. Design/methodology/approach – This study is based on the results of a questionnaire sent to 31 libraries in seven countries. Findings – It was found that most libraries evaluate some aspect of their services, but the frequency of these actions does not appear to be very consistent. They seem to have an acceptable level of computerization, but some of them neither take advantage of nor make the most of it. Only a few libraries perform an evaluation to improve their management and few libraries have enough historical data sets to permit comparative studies. Research limitations/implications – The response rate is limited, with just 51.6 percent of surveyed institutions (16 questionnaires returned of the 31 sent). Practical implications – The paper can aid Latin American university libraries to analyze their evaluation needs in a common forum and to reach agreements as to what are the most appropriate indicators to measure their performance. This will help them in the long term to improve the quality of their services and the value of their role in the performance of the university. Originality/value – This survey is the first to be carried out to discover the existing situation in Latin America. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Performance Measurement and Metrics Emerald Publishing

An approach to evaluating Latin American university libraries

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1467-8047
DOI
10.1108/14678040810906808
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the current evaluation processes and experiences among Latin American university libraries. Design/methodology/approach – This study is based on the results of a questionnaire sent to 31 libraries in seven countries. Findings – It was found that most libraries evaluate some aspect of their services, but the frequency of these actions does not appear to be very consistent. They seem to have an acceptable level of computerization, but some of them neither take advantage of nor make the most of it. Only a few libraries perform an evaluation to improve their management and few libraries have enough historical data sets to permit comparative studies. Research limitations/implications – The response rate is limited, with just 51.6 percent of surveyed institutions (16 questionnaires returned of the 31 sent). Practical implications – The paper can aid Latin American university libraries to analyze their evaluation needs in a common forum and to reach agreements as to what are the most appropriate indicators to measure their performance. This will help them in the long term to improve the quality of their services and the value of their role in the performance of the university. Originality/value – This survey is the first to be carried out to discover the existing situation in Latin America.

Journal

Performance Measurement and MetricsEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 4, 2008

Keywords: University libraries; South America; Performance measures; Library management; Function evaluation

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