Measuring to improve the public library learning space

Logo IFLA 2013

Logo IFLA 2013

Petter Von Krogh og jeg har sammen skrevet et abstract til et call for paper til IFLA. Section for statistcs og min seksjon, Section for education and training skal sammen avholde et seminar på IFLAkonferansen i Singapore i august. Under er teksten til vårt innsendte abstract:

Norwegian statistics generally maintain a high standard. Statistics Norway, is responsible for coordinating all official statistics in Norway. The actual collection of library statistics, is handled by the National Library of Norway.

The demand for detailed statistics from the library community has been low, but this is slowly changing. In Norway, the county libraries serve as development agencies for public and school libraries in their region. To guide and support development, we have to measure it.

Buskerud County Library seeks to improve the public library as a learning space. In order to measure the level and quality of change, we adopted and customized a well-known talent management tool called the Performance-Potential Matrix/9 box grid. The model is based on two axes, one for performance and one for potential. This makes it possible to take both quantitative and qualitative measures into consideration.

The quantitative values offered by national statistics are weighted towards traditional library operations. They barely touch upon the role of public libraries as learning arenas. We have added a series of qualitative measures to the statistical descriptions. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, we get an extensive knowledge base to support the continuous development of the library.

While combining the quantitative and the qualitative approach, we have developed what we call the Buskerud Measuring Model. With this model, library employees can measure how well their library serves as a learning arena based on two sets of numbers: the scores they attain from measuring their potential  (step 1) and from measuring their performance (step 2).

The paper will describe the model and results applying it on public libraries in Buskerud.