Do Academic Libraries Matter? Making the Case for Essential and Vital

NEAL, James G. (2016) Do Academic Libraries Matter? Making the Case for Essential and Vital. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2016 – Columbus, OH – Connections. Collaboration. Community in Session 214 - Statistics and Evaluation.

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Abstract

Do Academic Libraries Matter? Making the Case for Essential and Vital

We can predict that accountability and evaluation will continue to expand and intensify as part of the culture and politics of higher education. Colleges and universities, and the governments and boards that administer them, will expand their expectations and mandate for rigorous assessment. Academic libraries will grow in their capability and sophistication in the gathering and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data that are responsive to questions about such areas as: user satisfaction, market penetration, user success, impact, cost effectiveness/ROI, and usability. There will be new thinking about the migration of academic library from product to service, and about the relationship between action and benefit. Academic libraries will think more rigorously about: who are our users? where do we intersect with our users? how do we know about our users? are we responsive to user expectations? how do we enhance the user experience? New partnerships, radical collaborations, and national/global systemic strategies will raise new frameworks and multi-institutional approaches to benchmarking and assessment. A key question: How are we essential to our students and faculty and to campus decision makers? We much be able to show how the library contributes to: student success, faculty productivity, the campus economy, institutional values, and university reputation.

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