Department of Library Services
+27 12 420 2235/6


  • Benchmarking is the process of comparing the business processes and performance metrics including cost, cycle time, productivity, or quality to another that is widely considered to be an industry standard benchmark or best practice. Essentially, benchmarking provides a snapshot of the performance of your business and helps you understand where you are in relation to a particular standard.
  • Benchmarking amongst South African libraries is poorly developed largely on account of the absence of a standardised set of statistics and performance indicators. Informal benchmarking with local and international libraries routinely takes place during visits, conferences and discussions and new ideas are tested and implemented.
  • In 2008 the Library Services collected information from the libraries of the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University, University of the Witwatersrand and Rhodes University (all belonging to the group of South African research universities) for an informal benchmarking exercise.┬áThe results were compared with information found on the web relating to a couple of international universities. This work will be continued in 2010.
  • Using available data on the web for an informal benchmarking exercise is a useful way of getting started and identifying areas for further investigation and discussion.