OLA Posters: Evaluating & Measuring


Performance measures – outcomes – impacts – you name it, there is an urgent need for valid ways of identifying if and how library initiatives make a difference in a community, campus or company. 3 posters at the OLA Super Conference addressed evaluation & performance measures:

1. The Health Science Information Consortium of Toronto (HSICT) has created an online toolkit, “Measuring the Value of Health Library Services”:

2. askON compared its virtual reference services evaluative measures with those of other online virtual services – OCUL’s AskALibrarian and BC’s AskAway, presenting both a poster (below) and a presentation (even further below).


Plus, a brief audio overview:

Here’s the link to the presentation:








3. University of Guelph-Humber developed a blended framework to evaluate the effectiveness of their information literacy program.

Three Part Harmony: University of Guelph-Humber Maps Scalable Information Literacy Outcomes



Defining New Metrics for Library Success: April 22-23, 2014


2014 iSchool @ Toronto Symposium Series: Defining New Metrics for Library Success on Tuesday &Wednesday April 22-23, 2014, Toronto

Are you ready to communicate to your funders and community the real value that your library contributes?

Following the University of Toronto iSchool Institute’s two very successful symposia, Creative Making in Libraries & Museums and Pushing the Envelope in Education: Roles for Libraries in MOOCs and eLearning we are pleased to introduce our third symposium: Defining New Metrics for Library Success.

All libraries are challenged to communicate their value in uncertain fiscal and changing environments. Our communities, boards, management and institutions are asking for stronger and better measurements of our impact and value to help them with decision making and prioritization.

This symposium is about the various metrics and measures the library sector and discipline uses to manage what it is doing (it’s activities and individual services) and the value of what it is doing. These are very different measurement objectives and processes, yet complementary and vital. It discusses “measurement” in a broad sense, including the value of selected services as well as the overall management of processes and services. It is very important that people in the library sector are aware of different measures – – with different objectives. Who knows where new ideas will come from? All libraries can learn from each other.

This two-day event illustrates the breadth and depth of the challenge for stronger and better measurements of our impact and value:

Explores opportunities

Continue reading Defining New Metrics for Library Success: April 22-23, 2014

“WTH” Moments Continue: Policies vs. Mission


Last August I wrote about a “WTH?” moment at a public library that doesn’t allow people to use library computers on Sundays. (I figure that “wth” isn’t as offensive as “wtf”, but you get my drift.) The saga continues.

For those of you with family or friends battling mental illness, you know how often those individuals are without identification or a “permanent” address. ID is lost, stolen, left in a knapsack at a shelter – whatever. You also know that most social services are accessible only through the web. Many of these individuals don’t have phones and a payphone is hard to find these days, as is are the coins or phone cards to make them work. So, quite often we equip our family members with an old laptop for them to use at the public library to access social services, email, etc. Elated to have the laptop so that they are not “kicked off” the public library computer after their allotted time, the individual attempts to access the public library wifi. Alas — no identification of a permanent address? Well then, no wifi.


Many public libraries have updated their policies regarding this, and to those libraries I say “congratulations and thank you for recognizing your role in making a positive difference in someone’s life.” To those public libraries that still require identification of permanent address to access your library’s wifi I say “wifi is a tool with which to access resources; it can’t be stolen or damaged.”


Continue reading “WTH” Moments Continue: Policies vs. Mission

CIL2011 Day 1: Stories Not Statistics


The only problem with Computers in Libraries is that I can only attend one session at a time. There were so many sessions I wanted to be at today, and those I did attend were exactly what I look for in conference sessions: interesting, idea-generating learning events.

What keeps conference organizers awake at night? The nightmare that a keynote speaker may not arrive on time to address several hundred attendees. Although this happened this morning, Jane, Tom Hogan and other Information Today organizers handled the situation gracefully quickly creating a panel with Roy Tennant, Stephen Abram, Marshall Breeding and Dick Kaiser who discussed the issue of e-books-publishers-lending-libraries. My takeaways from this session:

Although many in the library sector have been challenging Harper-Collins, the sector should focusing on Simon and Schuster who won’t license e-books to libraries at all Overdrive has been doing their best with e-books in the library environment Google’s agreement for every library to have “one Google terminal” for Google-digitized content does not include downloading or printing rights.

Madeline Barratt, Strategy & Performance Manager for Enfield Libraries in the UK spoke of London’s Libraries Consortium. Growing from 3 members to 15 in a couple of short years, the Consortium is yielding real benefits for all the boroughs. Madeline’s articulate, humourous delivery was engaging. My takeaways:

“Challenges grow like weeds” even for those who fiercely believe in public libraries, collaboration & consortia One challenge is to maintain a collaborative model as membership grows; they are developing their governance model

Continue reading CIL2011 Day 1: Stories Not Statistics