Providing evidence of value remains an elusive goal for academic libraries

Yesterday, we published the results of a six-month research project which SAGE had commissioned to better understand the perceived value of the academic library.

The report sets out recommendations for academic libraries to enhance their working relationship with academic teaching and research staff. ‘Working together: evolving value for academic libraries’ was undertaken by LISU, a national research and information centre based in the Research School of Informatics and the Department of Information Science at Loughborough University (UK).

Findings from three geographic areas, the United States, United Kingdom and Scandinavia, indicated that there is no systematic evidence of the value of academic libraries for teaching and research staff. Despite this, librarians noted that they receive positive feedback about the support the library provides, but there is a perception that academic staff do not really know how to use all that the library can offer.

Outlined in the report are three key issues identified by librarians as being central to working together with faculty. These are: value measurement and perception; working together with researchers and teachers; and raising awareness about library products and services. The report sets out examples of best practice and makes a series of recommendations for libraries and university management to improve the perceived value of academic libraries with teaching and research staff.

The report is free to download now: visit the Library Value project blog for more information.

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