Friday, January 31, 2014
The following survey of resources has been compiled by CAUL's Quality & Assessment Advisory Committee (CQAAC):

For about 10 years there has been significant debate across the library profession on the merit of retaining traditional measures and the growing need for a new, alternative methodology. For the sake of simplicity the traditional method may be characterized as ‘counting’ – the size of collections, the size of the budget, the size of staffing complement, the number of issues/ downloads, and various ratios of collections & expenditure. Underpinning this is an assumption that bigger or more equates to better. However, in recent years newer measures have been promoted as qualitatively worthier illustrations of the use of the library by the communities served. This has shifted focus from ‘size’ to ‘impact’, and as newer suggests this necessitates the collection of other data. The emphasis has, therefore, changed from statistical data on user transactions to information about user needs and library services aligned to meet those needs. The scope of ‘new’ information includes: data from rubrics to assess the effectiveness of information literacy on outcomes; data from direct interaction with faculty & students for instance via Liaison Librarians; composite data for profiling of market segments (including personas & users journeys). The purpose here is not only to illustrate that (some) library resources have been used (quantitative data) but that resources & services are relevant and may be correlated to outcomes (qualitative information). This supports a shift of focus to the tailoring or customisation of services to ensure that outputs are aligned with the needs of various user groups.