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Value and impact: New trends in evaluating library and information services

Bawden, D., Robinson, L. & Calvert, A. (2008). Value and impact: New trends in evaluating library and information services. Paper presented at the 3rd Joint Conference of Slovene Special and Academic Libraries, October 2008, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


This paper presents some recent approaches to the evaluation of library/information services, focusing on those which try to assess the ‘real’ value and impact of the services.

The question of evaluating the ‘real’ contribution of library and information services is a difficult one. Many services have relied on measuring activity - e.g. number of visits, number of documents supplied, number of accesses to digital materials – but this is never fully satisfactory.

This presentation discusses some recent trends and methods for assessing the ‘true value’ of library / information services, and their impact on the work and life of their users. This will be done partly by reporting on the literature, partly by an account of evaluations carried out by the presenters.

Particular emphasis will be placed on examples of methods for assigning an economic value to library services, for assessing the direct impact of information services on the work of their users, and for understanding how and why library services are valuable. Transferability of methods between sectors – national, special and public libraries –
will also be highlighted.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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