Lib-Value: Measuring Value
and Return on Investment
of Academic Libraries
Regina Mays, Lib-Value Program Manager, Center for Information
and Communication Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Carol Tenopir, Professor at the School of Information Sciences,
Director of Research for the College of Communication and Information,
and Director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies,
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Paula Kaufman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
L
ibrary professionals are looking for new ways to measure and express
the value of their libraries to their parent institutions and to measure
how well they meet the rapidly changing needs and expectations of
their users. They need both to find the best ways to meet patron needs and to com-
municate the value of their operations to administrators and funders. Developing
a strategy to help libraries attain these goals is the focus of the Value, Outcomes,
and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries project, “Lib-Value” for short.
Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS),
Lib-Value is a three-year study that began in December 2009. Carol Tenopir of the
University of Tennessee (UT) leads the project as Principal Investigator (PI) with
Paula Kaufman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as
Co-PI. In addition to the teams at UT and UIUC, Donald King of UT and Bryant
University, Bruce Kingma of Syracuse University, and Martha Kyrillidou and her
team at ARL round out the partnership. Lib-Value builds on and goes beyond
two previous studies that looked at return-on-investment (ROI) of grants
income.1 Lib-Value expands the focus of the research to consider both ROI and
value more broadly, including the value of library collections and services to
research, teaching and learning, and social and professional areas.
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AUGUST 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC