Managing with Data: Using ACRLMetrics and PLAmetrics

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

Both the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and the Public Library Association (PLA) provide important data services. For library managers and administrators, the key to the data's usefulness is knowing how to extract and apply the most relevant information to managing a library and improving accountability. A companion volume to the authors' earlier book Getting Started with Evaluation, this guide illustrates how to use the data to support value, collection use, benchmarking, and other best practices. This important resource

  • Identifies key metrics in ACRLMetrics and PLAmetrics
  • Demonstrates how to perform techniques for developing and using metrics
  • Offers exercises that illustrate how to produce meaningful metrics and reports, accessible via a free web portal
  • Shows how to move towards outcomes assessments while simultaneously embracing value
  •  Includes numerous examples to guide readers through the data services' web interfaces screen-by-screen

Managers at academic and public libraries, administrators, and library trustees will find this book a vital tool for accountability and advocacy.

List of Figures, Tables, and Text Boxes
Chapter 1: The Context for Libraries Today and Beyond
Evidence-Based Management and Planning
Relevant Databases
Data Reports
Going Beyond Just Library Metrics
Relevant Studies
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 2: Accountability 
What Is the Return on Investment?
And the Value Is . . .
The Two Data Services
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 3: Collections
Evaluation of the Physical Collections
Analysis of Use of Materials
Use of Interlibrary Loan Services
Materials Availability Studies
Evaluation of the e-Resource Collections
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 4: Services
Relevant Methods of Data Collection
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 5: Staffing 
Why Is It Important to Understand Staffing?
Organizing Information before Studying Staffing
Metrics to Collect concerning Capacity
Metrics to Collect concerning Occurrences
Staffing Studies for Internal Decision Making
Staffing Studies Using External Data
Library Standards and Best Practices (Staffing)
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 6: Benchmarking and Benchmarking Studies
Why Should Libraries Benchmark?
Types of Benchmarking Processes
Steps in the Benchmarking Process
What Do Libraries Benchmark?
Identifying Benchmarking Partners
Metrics for Library Benchmarking Studies
Sources of, and Compiling, Library Benchmarking Data
Benchmarking Association and State Library Standards and Guidelines
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 7: Best Practices 
Why Libraries Use Best Practices
Discovering Best Practices
Functions and Services for Best Practices
National Reporting Sources
Library Standards and Best Practices
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 8: Moving toward Outcomes Assessment While Embracing Value
Relevant Questions from the Data Services
Other Data Sets
Value of the Library to Its Community
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 9: Use
Facilities Use
Selected Services Use
Collections Use
Technology Use
Outreach Use
Values and Use: A Customer Perspective
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 10: Presenting the Findings 
Understand the Audience
Focus on Benefits
Provide Context
Be Credible
Improve Communication Skills
Stage the Release of Information
Ask for Feedback
Concluding Thoughts
Chapter 11: Managing with Data (Evidence)
Relevance and Value
Evidence-Based Decision Making
Planned Organizational Change
Another Major Data Set
Institutional Reputation
Concluding Thoughts
Appendix: Answers to Chapter Exercises
About the Authors

Peter Hernon

Peter Hernon is a professor emeritus at Simmons College, Boston, and was the principal (and founding) faculty member for the doctoral program, Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions. He received his PhD degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and was the 2008 recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries' award for Academic/Research Librarian of the Year, the founding editor of Government Information Quarterly, and past editor-in- chief of The Journal of Academic Librarianship. He is the coeditor of Library & Information Science Research and has taught, conducted workshops, and delivered addresses in eleven countries outside the United States. He is the author or co-author of 57 books, including the award-winning Federal Information Policies in the 1980s (1985) and Viewing Library Metrics from Different Perspectives (2009).

Robert E. Dugan

Robert E. Dugan is director of the Mildred F. Sawyer Library at Suffolk University in Boston. He has worked in libraries for more than 27 years serving as associate university librarian, state librarian, public library director, and reference librarian. Dugan is the author of more than 40 articles on information policy and the use of technology and has coauthored two books, including U.S. Government on the Web.

Joseph R. Matthews

Joseph R. Matthews is a consultant specializing in strategic planning, assessment, evaluation of library services, customer service, use of performance measures, and the balanced scorecard. He was an instructor at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. He is author of The Customer-Focused Library, The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services, Scorecards for Results, Strategic Planning and Management for Managers, and Measuring for Results, and the coauthor (with Peter Hernon) of Listening to the Customer, among other books.

"A must-read for administrators, trustees, and all staff concerned with leveraging data to manage libraries and improve accountability."
— Against the Grain

"A useful introduction to two of the major data tools that libraries can use to help guide and shape decisions ... more experienced data users will still find much of value in the exercise questions and the overall discussion."
— Technicalities

"Each chapter provides the opportunity to gain real experience through examples and exercises that utilize complimentary access to a subset of data from the two data services. This approach solidifies the ideas presented and encourages the reader to expand upon these themes to incorporate other sources of data to fashion a management process that addresses the mission and visions of the institution or the community … This book would serve students in LIS masters programs studying library management as well as current and future department heads and directors in public and academic libraries looking to improve skills in assessment, decision making, and communicating value to stakeholders."

"I like this book. Too much of what is written about program evaluation (and indeed about library management in general) is written as if the problems are abstract. However, as any manager can tell you, that is anything but the case. Those working in the field need what they need now, and this text offers that. While a deep reading of the book might be useful, one can spend a few hours with Managing with Data and get a clear understanding of what is meant by evidence-based decision making, how these databases can support that approach, and how to use the data generated effectively."
— Technical Services Quarterly