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Building a resource for practical assessment: adding value to value and impact Stephen Town University of York, UK Library Assessment Conference, Seattle.

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Presentation on theme: "Building a resource for practical assessment: adding value to value and impact Stephen Town University of York, UK Library Assessment Conference, Seattle."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building a resource for practical assessment: adding value to value and impact Stephen Town University of York, UK Library Assessment Conference, Seattle Wednesday 6 th August, 2008

2 Summary The SCONUL Value & Impact Measurement Program (“VAMP”) recap The Performance Portal ‘Value’ options –UK drivers (TRAC) –Institutional Case: The Open University’s Best Value project –Benchmarking & national statistics

3 Introduction & recap

4 The University Context (from the 2006 Library Assessment Conference, after Lombardi) Universities have two “bottom lines” 1.Financial (as in business) 2.Academic, largely through reputation in Research (the priority in “leading” Universities) Teaching (& maybe Learning)

5 Library Pressures for Accountability The need is therefore to demonstrate the Library contribution in these two dimensions: 1.Financial, through “value for money” or related measures 2.Impact on research, teaching and learning This also implies that “competitive” data will be highly valued

6 The Aim & Role of Universities & their Libraries: cautions for measurement Research, Teaching & Reductionism –‘Mode 1’ Research & impact ‘transcendental’ –‘Mode 2’ Research & impact ‘instrumental’ –Value, Price & ‘Mandarinisation’ of research and its support –Interdisciplinary research –Collaborative research across institutions –Learning as a set of discreet assessed modules All of this may damage the idea of Libraries as ‘transcendent’, collective and connective services

7 SCONUL Member Survey Findings 70% undertaken value or impact measurement Main rationales are advocacy, service improvement, comparison Half used in-house methodologies; half used standard techniques Main barrier is lack of tools, –Creating issues of time and buy-in

8 Member Survey Conclusions There is a need to demonstrate value and that libraries make a difference Measurement needs to show ‘real’ value Need to link to University mission Libraries are, and intend to be, ahead of the game Impact may be difficult or impossible to measure All respondents welcomed the programme, and the prospect of an available toolkit with robust and simple tools

9 VAMP Objectives New missing measurement instruments & frameworks A full coherent framework for performance, improvement and innovation Persuasive data for University Senior Managers, to prove value, impact, comparability, and worth

10 Missing methods An impact tool or tools, for both teaching & learning and research (from the LIRG/SCONUL initiative?) A robust Value for Money/Economic Impact tool Staff measures Process & operational costing tools

11 Program Benefits 1.Attainment & retention of Library institutional income 2.Proof of value and impact on education and research 3.Evidence of comparability with peer institutions 4.Justification of a continuing role for libraries and their staff 5.Meeting national costing requirements for separating spend on teaching and research

12 Communities of Practice “groups of people who share a passion for something that they know how to do, and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better” “coherence through mutual engagement” Etienne Wenger, 1998 & 2002

13 VAMP Project Structure AnalysisMarch-June 2006 Tools I (Impact)- June 2007 Site Development- June 2007 Tools II (Value)- ? CoP development Maintenance

14 The Performance Portal

15 Member’s Forum (Blog?Chat?) Techniques in Use (Wiki?) VAMP Home Page Simple Introductions Detailed Techniques Community of Practice Techniques

16 The ‘Performance Portal’ A Wiki of library performance measurement containing a number of ‘approaches’, each (hopefully) with: –A definition –A method or methods –Some experience of their use in libraries (or links to this) –The opportunity to discuss use






22 Content submission

23 User guide

24 Discussion Tools An experiment in social networking & Web 2.0 technologies



27 The Ontology of Performance ‘Frameworks’ ‘Impact’ ‘Quality’ ‘Statistics’ ‘Value’ A visual Mind map?


29 Frameworks Mounted European Framework for Quality Management (EFQM) Desired Key Performance Indicators The Balanced Scorecard Critical Success Factors The Effective Academic Library

30 Impact Mounted Impact tools Desired Detailed UK experience from LIRG/SCONUL Initiatives Outcome based evaluation Information Literacy measurement More on research impact


32 Quality Mounted Charter Mark Customer Surveys –LibQUAL+ –SCONUl Survey –Priority Research Investors in People Desired Benchmarking Quality Assurance ISO 9000s ‘Investors in People’ experience Opinion meters Quality Maturity Model


34 Statistics Mounted SCONUL Statistics & interactive service HELMS statistics Desired Institutional experience of using SCONUL statistics for local advocacy COUNTER E-resource tools

35 Value MountedDesired Contingent valuation ‘Transparency’ costing Staff & process costing, value & contribution E-resource value tools

36 Value

37 What is value? Cost efficiency Cost effectiveness Cost comparison (Case 3) Financial management process standards & audit Financial allocation (Case 1) Valuation Value added Return on investment Best value (Case 2)

38 Case 1: TRAC UK Higher Education Transparency initiative 2000-09

39 Transparent approach to costing The standard method for costing in UK HEIs Government requirement Ending of cross-subsidy (T vs R) Research funding based on full economic costing (fEC) Positive effects on funding Positive effect on pricing

40 Implications All activity to be identified as ‘research’, ‘teaching’ or ‘other’ Library as other? or All library activities either research or teaching, or a simplistic apportioning to each Libraries omitted as a component of research costs, and therefore as a share recipient

41 Case 2: the UK Open University Library’s Best Value Program

42 OU Best Value Program Objectives To increase the business skills of library managers & staff To develop skills to support customer- focused, cost-efficient management decision making To develop benchmarking evaluation skills that balance quality, value and cost efficiency

43 Strands Business reporting Process costing and continuous improvement Service planning Benchmarking ‘to generate real accountability’

44 Business reporting elements Library business areas Five PIs per area, including cost, quality & customer impact Forecast, variance & remedial action Has improved use of management information, efficiency, prioritisation and expenditure control

45 Process Costing Complete process and stage costing Average times and skill levels Included enquiries, cataloguing, e-resources, IT support, document delivery, counter services Has delivered justification for staffing levels against activity, staffing formulae, redeployment to priority areas, and process improvements

46 Service plans Costed service plans to achieve medium term improvement and development through a rolling program Included document delivery, enquiries, information literacy, and e-resources

47 Program benefits and outcomes Staff development –cost-conscious decision-making –business skills Management information improvement Clarity about customers and use Improved quality Ability to ‘sell benefits’

48 Case 3: Financial benchmarking

49 International Benchmarking initiatives OU able to engage and lead an exercise against distance education Universities worldwide In one 2008 international benchmarking study –Only one institution (out of eight) had a comprehensive costing model

50 Financial Statistical Convergence York Meeting, 2008 –OCLC/RLG –ARL –SCONUL –CAUL

51 Conclusion & Questions What do mean by value? Why do we not yet have a collective view on costing approaches? –Skills deficiency? –Lack of real need or real financial performance accountability? –We would rather not know? –Are we more intent on increasing budgets than seeking efficiency improvement?

52 Acknowledgments The VAMP Subgroup of SCONUL WGPI Maxine Melling, Philip Payne, Rupert Wood The Cranfield VAMP Team, Darien Rossiter, Michael Davis, Selena Lock, Heather Regan The Open University, Ann Davies ‘Value’ Consultants, Sue Boorman, Larraine Cooper Attendees at the York Statistics meeting


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