Purpose– The strategic contribution of subject librarians as information specialists in the digital world has been questioned by institutional administrators, but others have identified expanded roles and new opportunities in learning and research support. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the application of Kaplan and Norton’s strategic management system of balanced scorecards and strategy maps to subject librarianship in universities, with particular reference to the intellectual capital represented and created in the structures, relationships, and know-how of liaison work. Design/methodology/approach– A literature review was used to define established and emergent roles, responsibilities and skillsets of subject librarians, including their reach beyond the library. A web site survey investigated goals, actions, and values related to liaison work in UK library strategies. Data were analyzed thematically to develop an exemplar map and assess its potential for evaluating the contribution of subject librarians. Findings– Core functions continue, with expanded scope and competencies. Collaboration and integrated services are key trends for mapping. Liaison work is poorly documented in existing strategies. Preliminary results suggest that strategy maps can be used to illustrate the strategic contribution of subject librarians. Research limitations/implications– The paper reports the early stages of a multi-phase project. The results are limited to the conceptual phase. The next phase will explore the development of both maps and balanced scorecards via case studies in different countries. Originality/value– There are few examples of library applications of strategy maps and balanced scorecards at unit or program level, and none with a focus on the intangible assets of subject librarians.
Library Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 9, 2015
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