Recent developments in library evaluation, statistics and measurement – and why they are important

MARKLESS, Sharon and STREATFIELD, David (2014) Recent developments in library evaluation, statistics and measurement – and why they are important. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 89 - Statistics and Evaluation with E-Metrics Special Interest Group. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/891
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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

Recent developments in library evaluation, statistics and measurement – and why they are important

This paper identifies six key changes in library evaluation over the past five years and suggests why they may be important for IFLA delegates. Deciding which changes to feature was difficult because library evaluation is a highly contentious area (as is evaluation more generally) and because practice across the world is partial, patchy and uneven. The authors summarize their choices by noting a gradual move in the library evaluation field towards deeper understanding of the nature and significance of evaluation. Their key propositions are that: the demand for evaluation expertise is beginning to outstrip supply; there is a technology-enabled shift in research and evaluation focus from the world of the library to the information world of potential library users; there is growing experience of conducting library impact evaluation across countries; there is a dawning recognition that sustaining impact evaluation efforts is a core element in ensuring sustainability of libraries; there are early signs of movement towards more ethical evaluation; and as library services become more innovative the limitations of simple evaluation models are beginning to show. The implications of each of these propositions for IFLA delegates is adumbrated.

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