Sunday, June 5, 2005

SLA 2005 Continuing Education Course

SLA 2005 Continuing Education Course
Making it count : measuring and communicating the value of special libraries and information centres
Sunday June 5, 2005

Instructors Eileen G. Abels; Lisl Zach

What is value?
Why is it important?
How do we measure?
 Usually measure customer satisfaction – need to measure impact and outcome of services on corporate bottom line
 We measue happy users. Corporation wants productive users who are not unhappy
Challenges of firm level model
 Value to the organization not value to the individual. Not based on what they like, but what provides value and helps meet corporate goals.
Meeting needs of organization
 Determine needs of organization based on corporate goals
 Top down not bottom up
Developing appropriate measures
 What is the most important to your manager
 Cost saving
 Turn around time – impact of turnaround time on corporate goals
 Try to find metrics that "feel" like other department metrics
(note to self: IT department – do they have to justify their existence and keep statistics. Do they worry about this stuff at all? Why or why not?)
Identifying critical success factors
 Make your manager's job easier
 Eg. recruiting exceptional employees
 Creation of intellectual property
Linking services to contributions
 Create list of services and link to critical success factors. See Matrix on next page – fill it out
What are key services?
 Services related to mission and corporate goals (not provision of nice chairs and the newspaper)
Who are the most important users of this service?
 Find out who is using library and how it contributes to their success
 Collect statistics on users from each department
 Link searches and articles and database accesses to patents issued
Identifying appropriate measures
 User focus groups – does this service contribute to you meeting your goals – survey to mark off valuable services (see actionable data handout from other course)
 Patents / intellectual property – can we determine % of people with patents / proposals issued who have used library services
Types of measures
 Collect data by department instead of aggregate for all information transactions
 Survey asking hours saved therefore $ saved
 Ask if critical to mission / goals
 Ask how they used the information
Communicating value
 Find out how your management want to see numbers and results (ask him) (tables, numbers, words, stories, etc….email, voice mail, formal memo, …. Monthly, quarterly, weekly, …)
 Your value is measured by the perception of people above you
Other info:
 SLA - evidence based practice community of practice

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