I was very lucky to be able to spend time with the Library and Research Services for Parliaments section of IFLA in Paris last week, and to share the work of my business partner Rebecca Jones and colleague Moe Hosseini-Ara who have done lots on the topic of performance measures. The slides I used are below. I talked a lot about going beyond stats (which we know how to collect so well, but do we compare them and look for peaks, changes, etc.?). I talked about different types of measures: operational/usage, satisfaction and value. I talked about taking the big picture view — about really considering what are customers’ customers really want/need — not those customers we interface with (bankers, students, faculty, consultants, leisure readers, doctors, lawyers, parliamentarians) but their customers (patients, citizens, etc). The stakeholders. It is from their perspective that we can make a difference or have an impact. Moe’s quote is the best, “If our presence cannot add value to their lives, our absence will make no difference”. I think that says it all! Check out my slides for the logic model which is a great tool to help our thinking about metrics and aiming for outcomes and impacts from our users’ and stakeholders’ perspectives.
Today I attended the Statistics and Evaluation with E-metrics special interest groups’s IFLA program — Telling the Library Story: creating metrics for management, advocacy and community building. It started with Sharon Markless and David Streatfield discussing Recent Developments in Library Evaluation, Statistics and Measures and was followed by 6 lightening talks where speakers hit the high points of their talks in 7 minutes.
Claudia Lux was a hit with, How to make a difference: Using Stats for advocacy. She made the point that you should know interesting facts about your collection and services — largest and smallest books, oldest and youngest clients, size of collections, etc. as well as surprising facts — more people go to the library in Germany than to football games! These create pictures and images in the mind of our stakeholders. Any easy and attractive way to tell the library’s story. Julie McKenna from the Regina Public Library did a fantastic job on measuring spaces — how to access library spaces and behaviour. She talked about space as a public service and had some great slides — will try to get a link to them for you. They included her 11 criteria for space assessment.