Location

CTICC – Terrace room

Session Number

3C2

Keywords

Holistic analysis, academic libraries, case study

Description

Academic libraries have recently been subjected to continuous budget reductions, mainly due to the increasing costs of information and the global economic crisis. As the primary purpose of an academic library is to provide well-balanced collections and a wide range of services to support education and research, an efficient use and allocation of limited resources is vital. However, allocating resources such as money, staff, time, and infrastructure between the library collection and services represents a challenge due to the multitude of data sources required to consult during a decision-making process.

Academic libraries are accustomed to keeping voluminous statistics on their collection and services; however these data are not fully used for decision-making processes due to the lack of an efficient structure for grouping this information. The authors in a previous study state that prior to decision making, data must be collected based on a holistic approach that incorporates all of the key elements that may influence a decision. It is in this sense that to holistically assess libraries, an approach combining a theoretical framework with several measurement tools is proposed in that study. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to document early experiences and lessons learned in implementing the holistic approach in an academic library in Belgium. To do so, the academic library is evaluated in two dimensions. The first dimension analyzes the library system and its collection, whereas the second dimension analyzes the perspective of both the user and the internal stakeholders. During the initial implementation stages, the proposed approach proved to be valuable to ensure a complete view of the library collection and services. There are, however, important considerations to be borne in mind such as the time required to implement the complete approach, as well as the need of a system to integrate the collected information.

 
Apr 16th, 2:10 PM

TOWARDS A HOLISTIC ANALYSIS TOOL TO SUPPORT DECISION-MAKING IN LIBRARIES

CTICC – Terrace room

Academic libraries have recently been subjected to continuous budget reductions, mainly due to the increasing costs of information and the global economic crisis. As the primary purpose of an academic library is to provide well-balanced collections and a wide range of services to support education and research, an efficient use and allocation of limited resources is vital. However, allocating resources such as money, staff, time, and infrastructure between the library collection and services represents a challenge due to the multitude of data sources required to consult during a decision-making process.

Academic libraries are accustomed to keeping voluminous statistics on their collection and services; however these data are not fully used for decision-making processes due to the lack of an efficient structure for grouping this information. The authors in a previous study state that prior to decision making, data must be collected based on a holistic approach that incorporates all of the key elements that may influence a decision. It is in this sense that to holistically assess libraries, an approach combining a theoretical framework with several measurement tools is proposed in that study. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to document early experiences and lessons learned in implementing the holistic approach in an academic library in Belgium. To do so, the academic library is evaluated in two dimensions. The first dimension analyzes the library system and its collection, whereas the second dimension analyzes the perspective of both the user and the internal stakeholders. During the initial implementation stages, the proposed approach proved to be valuable to ensure a complete view of the library collection and services. There are, however, important considerations to be borne in mind such as the time required to implement the complete approach, as well as the need of a system to integrate the collected information.