In an environment of strained budgets and heightened accountability, academic libraries need to base their planning, decision-making, and advocacy on evidence more than ever before. Fortunately, the resources required to collect, analyze, and visualize data—thus turning it into evidence—are increasingly accessible. This session will challenge participants to grow in their handling of evidence by exposing them to a range of data sources and analysis tools. In order to accomplish this goal, the presenter will share brief sketches of a number of recent library assessment efforts, focusing on projects with which he has been involved personally. The session’s brevity will preclude showing participants the mechanics of any specific kind of assessment. Therefore, the presenter’s primary aim will be to impart a vision for using evidence to increase efficiency and enhance customer satisfaction. A secondary aim will be to refer participants to a variety of resources for further exploration: tools, books, journal literature, conferences, and more.

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Books & Reports

Dugan, R. E., Hernon, P., & Nitecki, D. A. (2009). Viewing library metrics from different perspectives: Inputs, outputs, and outcomes. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.

Oakleaf, M. (2010). The value of academic libraries: A comprehensive research review and report. Chicago, IL: American Library Association. http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/issues/value/val_report.pdf

Pfeffer, J., & Sutton, R. I. (2006). Hard facts, dangerous half-truths, and total nonsense: Profiting from evidence-based management. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Tufte, E. R. (2001). The visual display of quantitative information (2nd ed.). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press.


Ackermann, E. (2007). Program assessment in academic libraries: An introduction for assessment practitioners. Research & Practice in Assessment, 1(2), 1-9. http://www.virginiaassessment.org/rpa/2/Ackermann.pdf

Adler, J. (2007, September 3). Era of the super-cruncher. Newsweek, 150, 42. http://www.newsweek.com/id/40860/output/print

Bernon, J. (2008). Why and how to measure the use of electronic resources. Liber Quarterly: The Journal of European Research Libraries, 18, 459-463. http://liber.library.uu.nl/publish/articles/000272/article.pdf

Davis, H. (2009, November 11). Not just another pretty picture. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2009/not-just-another-pretty-picture/

Goddard, L. (2007). Getting to the source: A survey of quantitative data sources available to the everyday librarian: Part II: Data sources from specific library applications. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 2(1), 68‐88. https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/152/241

Hiller, S., & Self, J. (2004). From measurement to management: using data wisely for planning and decision-making. Library Trends, 53, 129-155. https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/1720

Lakos, A. (2007). Evidence-based library management: The leadership challenge. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 7, 431-450.

Self, J. (2004). Metrics and management: Applying the results of the balanced scorecard. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 5(3), 101-105.

White, M. D., & Marsh, E. E. (2006). Content analysis: A flexible methodology. Library Trends, 55, 22-45.

Other Sources

Applegate, R. (2009). Designing comprehensive assessment plans: The big picture leads to the little picture. In D. M. Mueller (Ed.), Pushing the edge: Explore, extend, engage: Proceedings of the Fourteenth National Conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries, March 12-15, 2009, Seattle, Washington (pp. 165-171). Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. https://scholarworks.iupui.edu/handle/1805/1877

TED (Producer). (2010, July). The beauty of data visualization: David McCandless on TED.com [Video file]. http://blog.ted.com/2010/08/23/the-beauty-of-data-visualization-david-mccandless-on-ted-com/