Department of Library Services
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Library Value

Proving the value of a library is one of the major challenges for libraries worldwide at the moment. The economic crisis which put strain on library budgets is one reason for it. A second, and perhaps more important one is the growing "voice of the people", an empowerment outcome of the networked digital society and widespread use of social media. Governments, organisations and individuals are held accountable for what they promised and people are expecting value for money spent. The same applies to libraries.

Various initiatives are underway:

  • Lib-Value is a three year study focusing on value and ROI in academic libraries.
  • An ACRL publication The Value of Academic Libraries gives an overview of the topic
  • Two studies commissioned by Elsevier linked library spending on journal subscriptions to grant funding

As part of the UPLS self evaluation a Value Team looked into various issues relating to value:

  • Basic contingent valuation of the UPLS: What if the UPLS did not not exist in 2009
  • Reflection session on the status of our value awareness
    Library value: one of the hottest topics of the moment (Monica Hammes)
    Value created by the UPLS Health Sciences Libraries (Magriet Lee)
    Elsevier's ROI study (Hilda Kriel)
    The value of III Millennium (Anette Lessing and Soekie Swanepoel)
  • Brainstorming the UPLS contribution to student success and how it is measured

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.