Yes we can! Communicating library value to a parent body

Pugh, Majella (2014). Yes we can! Communicating library value to a parent body. In: ALIA National Conference 2014: Papers and presentations. ALIA National Conference 2014, Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (1-16). 15-19 September, 2014.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Pugh, Majella
Title of paper Yes we can! Communicating library value to a parent body
Conference name ALIA National Conference 2014
Conference location Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Conference dates 15-19 September, 2014
Proceedings title ALIA National Conference 2014: Papers and presentations
Place of Publication Deakin, ACT, Australia
Publisher ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association)
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The presentation describes The University of Queensland (UQ) Library’s journey towards systematically measuring and communicating its value to its parent body. Work began with the re-establishment of the Library Quality and Assessment Advisory Group (QuAAG) early in 2013.

QuAAG referenced business logic theory, including the Strategic Conversations Loop of sensemaking, choosing, doing and revising. For sensemaking, QuAAG initiated a project that first audited and assessed the usefulness of statistics gathered by Library staff. It sorted these into essentials for informing internal management (on the volume and quality of activity), figures required for external reporting (e.g. to CAUL), and data demonstrating value delivered as a benefit to the receiver.

Simultaneously, the project manager undertook a literature review on communicating library value, and from this knowledge base devised a table around UQ Library’s customer groups. Seventy-one points of value were identified then mapped to UQ’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan.

From these, QuAAG chose 16 measures that demonstrated the Library’s delivery of value. To provide context to the measures, librarians piloted the collection of additional qualitative data during consultations with customers. A simple question was asked, “What value does the Library provide to you?”

Finally, Library staff was informed, and collection systems were put in place. Data supporting selected measures will be collected throughout 2014 (doing), and will be revised towards the end of 2014 by QuAAG.

To communicate the Library’s value, the University Librarian will present quarterly findings to the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic). These will also be added to the Library’s website, for Library staff awareness and for communication to Library patrons.

It is anticipated that results could include: a positive influence on the size of 2015 funding to the Library; the Library featuring more prominently in UQ marketing campaigns; a greater awareness and appreciation of value delivered by the Library amongst Library staff, customers and the UQ Executive; and an increase in alumni and Friends of the Library memberships.

Employing business logic theory provides UQ Library with a framework with which to evaluate and document the value it delivers to its customers. This enables the Library to effectively communicate its value to its parent body. In the short term, activities reinforce staff morale, and in the long term, should help future-proof the Library service. It is work that the literature recommends all libraries undertake.

Reflection upon value delivered by libraries is essential in cash-strapped times. The ubiquity of Google as our chief competitor signals that we must think strategically, and converse in the business language used by our parent body. Our greatest value lies in libraries excelling in the Customer Support Value Discipline. This creates value through Customer Intimacy, i.e. via relationship building and tailored service provision. By focusing outward-looking measures on the value delivered to customers, libraries can communicate in concrete terms the positive impact we have on our customers and on parental outcomes, which culminates in transcendent societal value delivered over generations.
Q-Index Code EX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: University of Queensland Library Staff Publications and Presentations
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Created: Tue, 24 Mar 2015, 10:24:29 EST by Majella Pugh on behalf of Library - Information Access Service