Principles and practice in impact assessment for academic libraries

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6 Citations (SciVal)


This paper aims to examine the principles that underpin library assessment, methods used for impact and performance evaluation and how academic libraries should use the findings, and it discusses how value frameworks help.

This is a literature review covering aspects of value (value propositions, value co-creation), value frameworks (including the 2015 ACRL framework, Holbrook typology with worked example), data analytics and collaborative projects including LibQUAL+ initiatives and the use of balanced scorecard principles (including a values scorecard).

The use of data analytics in library assessment requires collaboration among library services to develop reliable data sets. Scorecards help ongoing impact and performance evaluation. Queries that arise may require a framework, or logic model, to formulate suitable questions and assemble evidence (qualitative and quantitative) to answer new questions about the value of library services. The perceived value framework of Holbrook’s typology, the values scorecard and the ACRL framework all support the deeper level of inquiry required.

Research limitations/implications
Includes examples of possible application of frameworks.

Practical implications
A value framework might help data analytic approaches in combining qualitative and quantitative data.

Social implications
Impact assessment may require assessing how value is co-created with library users in use of e-resources and open data.

The study contrasts the varying approaches to impact evaluation and library assessment in academic libraries, and it examines more in-depth value frameworks
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
JournalInformation and Learning Science
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jan 2018


  • Academic libraries
  • Data analytics
  • Impact assessment
  • Library assessment
  • Scorecards
  • Value co-creation
  • Value frameworks


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