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Impact measures for libraries and information services

Impact measures for libraries and information services Purpose – The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the importance of impact/outcome research in libraries. Design/methodology/approach – The paper gives an overview of purposes and methods used in impact research and illustrates this through project experiences. Findings – Various projects worldwide are trying to prove that use of library services can positively influence skills and competences, attitudes and behaviour of users. The benefits that users experience by using library services can be assessed in terms of knowledge gained, higher information literacy, higher academic or professional success, social inclusion, and increase in individual well‐being. Research limitations/implications – The main problem of impact research is, that influences on an individual are manifold and that therefore it is difficult to trace changes and improvements back to the library. The paper shows methods that are tested and used at the present. More investigation is needed to identify methods that could be used to show a library's overall impact or to develop measures that would permit benchmarking between institutions. Practical implications – The paper shows practical examples of impact assessment, covering “soft” methods like surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation and quantitative methods like tests, analysis of publications, or usage data. Originality/value – The paper acquaints libraries with a topic that is not yet well known and, by showing practical examples, demonstrates how libraries can attempt to assess their impact. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Hi Tech Emerald Publishing

Impact measures for libraries and information services

Library Hi Tech , Volume 24 (4): 16 – Oct 1, 2006

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References (43)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0737-8831
DOI
10.1108/07378830610715419
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the importance of impact/outcome research in libraries. Design/methodology/approach – The paper gives an overview of purposes and methods used in impact research and illustrates this through project experiences. Findings – Various projects worldwide are trying to prove that use of library services can positively influence skills and competences, attitudes and behaviour of users. The benefits that users experience by using library services can be assessed in terms of knowledge gained, higher information literacy, higher academic or professional success, social inclusion, and increase in individual well‐being. Research limitations/implications – The main problem of impact research is, that influences on an individual are manifold and that therefore it is difficult to trace changes and improvements back to the library. The paper shows methods that are tested and used at the present. More investigation is needed to identify methods that could be used to show a library's overall impact or to develop measures that would permit benchmarking between institutions. Practical implications – The paper shows practical examples of impact assessment, covering “soft” methods like surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation and quantitative methods like tests, analysis of publications, or usage data. Originality/value – The paper acquaints libraries with a topic that is not yet well known and, by showing practical examples, demonstrates how libraries can attempt to assess their impact.

Journal

Library Hi TechEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2006

Keywords: Libraries; Information services; Research

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