Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Evaluations’ Category

On Tuesday I attended the annual CILIP Umbrella conference for the first time. I had been invited by LIRG to present the findings of my literature review on methodologies for measuring the value of public libraries. Here’s a link to my presentation and a link to the final paper; and a selection of links to interesting library valuation studies that I’ve published on Voices for the Library.

I had a great time at the conference.  Lots of networking opportunities, lively debates and friendly faces.  Hoping to return next year 🙂

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The Library and Information Research Group (LIRG) has just published my article on methods for demonstrating the value of public libraries.  The article provides a  literature review of existing quantitative and qualitative evaluation methodologies for demonstrating value across a variety of sectors and analyses the pros and cons of:

  • Auditing
  • Return on Investment Studies

    © Christine Rooney-Browne 2011

  • Social Impact Audits
  • Ethnography
  • Tracking Surveys
  • Customer Profiling
There’s a lot of really interesting case studies in the article and I’m sure some of the methodologies could help us to develop more appropriate models for measuring our own value!

I’ll also be presenting on this topic at the annual Umbrella Conference on 12th July 2011 at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.    So, if you’re interested in demonstrating the value of public libraries pop along to my session at 11.45am 🙂



					

Read Full Post »

I’m down in Leeds at the moment for a workshop on Measuring the Value of Public Libraries: The fallacy of footfall and issues as measures of Public Libraries. I’m really excited because I’ll be participating in a group Delphi session for the first time ever.We’ll be working on developing appropriate methods for evaluating the value and impact of public libraries. There will also be talks by Annie Mauger (CILIP), Roy Clare (MLA), Dr Adam Cooper (DCMS & CASE), Carolynn Rankin (Leeds Met).The delegate list also adds to the excitement.  Lots of interesting people participating, including Bob Usherwood! And as anyone who reads this blog knows, his research in the area of social impact & public libraries has been an inspiration to me. I can’t wait to meet him in person!

Although my own research in this area has shown that a perfect methodology for measuring the value of public libraries does not exist we’ll hopefully come up with more appropriate methods than those that are in place just now.   I’m off to work on the Individual Delphi questions before tomorrow’s session.  I’ll let you all know how it goes! 🙂

Read Full Post »

Just read a post on Brian Kelly’s blog about a free event that UKOLN and Mimas are running in Manchester on 24th May.    Although the event is aimed primarily at those already involved in JISC-funded work it will also be of interest to those of us involved in evaluating the impact of services, improving user engagement and demonstrating value.  Unfortunately I can’t make it to the event but I’ll hopefully be able to follow the discussions via Brian’s Twitter feed on the day 🙂

For more details about the event, including learning objectives and event timetable visit the UKOLN website.

Read Full Post »

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Edge 2010 conference at Edinburgh Castle – and what a fantastic conference it was! 🙂  The speaker list was top class and thanks to some excellent programming from the event organisers I didn’t have to miss any of the sessions.   This was such a relief because there’s nothing worse than getting all excited about the speaker list then realising that all of the big names are on at the same time.  But The Edge managed to avoid this pitfall and offered delegates an impressive list of sessions that truly were all killer and no filler!

The journey up to Edinburgh Castle was stunning and delegates were filled with a real sense of occassion before the conference even started. The conference suite was jam packed by the time I arrived and there was standing room only for Susan Benton’s keynote speech.    A wonderful sight, especially considering the audience was made up, not only of librarians but also high profile councillors, MSPs, Chief Executives etc.; all joined by a collective desire to “push the boundaries of public service delivery“.

Up first was a truly inspirational speaker – Susan Benton, President and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC).   Unfortunately, thanks to some freak snowstorms in the West of Scotland I missed the start of Susan’s keynote speech but I managed to catch her final remarks. Susan spoke passionately about the public library as a “trusted neighbour” in our communities, highlighting the vital role that they play in “bringing diverse entities together” and the need to “strengthen the public library as an essential part of urban life“.  I’ve been a huge fan of the ULC for a while now and Susan’s speech reflected some of the wonderful research they’ve carried out in recent years to communicate the value of public libraries in communities in the US.  A selection of these publications are linked to below:

Welcome, Stranger:  Public Libraries Build the Global Village

Making Cities Stronger:   Public Library Contributions to Local Economic Development

The Engaged Library:  Chicago Stories of Community Building

Following Susan’s rousing “call to arms” speech we welcomed Ewan McIntosh-digital media expert and founder of the innovative 38 Minutes project.   I’ll be discussing Ewan’s talk in a future blog post…

Read Full Post »

So, it’s been revealed that performing two Google searches from your desktop computer could generate as muchtea carbon dioxide as boiling your kettle for a cup of tea.  

Apparently, every time you search for something on Google your query isn’t sent to one server, but lots of different servers, located across the US, Europe, Japan and China.    Each server competes against the other to retrieve results faster – and this leads to increased energy consumption.

There are lots of impressive figures to support the claims of the project’s researcher, Dr Alex Wissner-Gross, but I’m not a huge fan of quantitative studies so I’m not as outraged as some by these revelations.  As pointed out by another sceptic on the Technologizer Blog you could be searching for information about a life threatening disease or browsing results for your favourite TV show and what these statistics fail to recognise is that each of these searches has a different value, or worth, to the searcher.  

In their own response, Google hints at the energy being saved by performing searches online and questions the validity of the results.  All makes for interesting reading.  

Whatever your opinion, the research carried out at Harvard does make us stop and think about ‘searching the internet’ as an environmental issue, and that’s a good thing.  Although, I did perform about 8 different Google searches this morning to find out more information about the environmental impact of Google.  Oh, the irony….

Read Full Post »

In times of economic hardship people have less disposable income and thus tend to cut down on their luxury goods expenditure.  The purchasing of books, DVDs, music, new technologies and branded groceries, alongside outings to the theatre, cinemas and football matches become less frequent as we all try to tighten our belts a little.  

We’ve been speculating for a few months now that the latest credit crunch might have a positive impact on public library usage and we’re starting to see some real evidence of that.  Recent news stories from America reveal that public library authorities in Santa Fe  and Frederick County have enjoyed an increase in visitor numbers over the last 6-9 months.  There’s also been a shift in how people have been interacting with their local libraries and the types of services that they’re accessing.  Once again, the public library is emerging as a lifeline and invaluable resource for people trying to find new jobs, learn new skills or simply escape from the harsh realities of the recession by rediscovering the joy of reading…

Even a few of my friends who’ve always bought their books from Amazon and who had previously admitted to me that they’d rather browse the shelves of Borders than visit their local library have signed up for library memberships!  Telling times indeed!  

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »