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Doing Library Impact Evaluation: Enhancing value and performance in libraries



This book is an accessible guide to the latest thinking on effective library impact evaluation for anyone who wants to gauge the impact of their services or projects on their service users for library advocacy and service development.
Although library impact evaluation is evolving, most of the literature focuses on the methods used and on the evaluation findings. There is a dearth of case studies focusing on the evaluation problems presented by libraries, how these problems are addressed and what lessons can be learnt in the process. This book fills that gap by presenting a series of case studies through which the authors draw on current impact evaluation thinking to address a variety of evaluation problems.
Doing Library Evaluation complements the authors' earlier Facet Publishing book Evaluating the Impact of Your Library by showing how the impact evaluation model presented there has been applied to meet a variety of real evaluation challenges. The authors show how they have applied advances in thinking drawn from education and international development evaluation. They also show how progress in programme theory-based evaluation is helping to shape the world of library impact evaluation.
The book offers a wide range of case study settings, covering UK public, health, school and academic libraries and the evaluation programme of a national research funding body, as well as international library development programmes funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
The approaches to library evaluation explored in the case studies encompass:

  • self-evaluation by library managers
  • action research conducted by academic library teams
  • a large-scale market survey of perceptions of public libraries
  • limited and more developed programme evaluations
  • application of programme theory-driven approaches to evaluation at national and international levels.

The book will be essential reading for library managers and directors, particularly those working at national, public, academic, health and school libraries. It will also be of interest to any library and information professionals who want to gauge the impact of their services or projects on their service users for library advocacy and service development.

1. Why do we need another book on evaluating library impact? 2. What value? What impact? De-constructing value and impact 3. Enhancing value and performance in UK public libraries? 4. Teaching, learning and the UK school library 5. Academic libraries show their impact 6. Helping to bridge the information poverty gap 7. What do Europeans think about public libraries? 8. Tomorrow the World? Supporting international impact evaluation of library associations, national and public libraries 9. Strengthening the health libraries workforce in England

David Streatfield has been involved with impact evaluation for more than thirty years. He is Principal of Information Management Associates a consultancy, training and research team focused on evaluating information and library service provision and particularly on assessing the impact of these services. He has conducted impact evaluation consultancy work for the International Development Research Centre, IREX and the US Public Library Association as well as facilitating the SCONUL Impact Implementation Programme (involving 22 university library teams) over two years. He is currently leading the programme evaluation for the IFLA International Advocacy programme and last month completed a ten-year spell as Independent Impact Consultant to the Global Libraries Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His work with Global Libraries has included supporting impact development in Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, South Africa and Turkey, as well various countries in Eastern Europe and South East Asia. He helped to manage the Cross-Europe survey of public perceptions of public libraries in 17 European Union countries; and edited two special issue of the journal Performance Measurement and Metrics devoted to impact evaluation work in Global Libraries countries. This experience was distilled into the book (co-authored with Sharon Markless) Evaluating the Impact of your Library published by Facet Publishing in 2006 and, in a new and fully revised edition, in 2013.
Sharon Markless is Senior Lecture in Higher Education within King's Learning Institute where she draws on many years of experience in both teaching and research. She initially taught in secondary schools and further education before moving into H.E. in 1990 as a Senior Lecturer in Professional Development at Canterbury Christ Church University College. She is the co-author of the Facet Publishing book Evaluating the Impact of your Library.

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