This year’s Medical Library Association annual meeting in Chicago had several good sessions in which speakers presented experiences and approaches to assigning dollar values to library services and activities. These included:
- “A Calculator for Measuring the Impact of Health Sciences Libraries and Librarians” presented by Betsy Kelly and Barb Jones of the MidContinental Region, National Network of Libraries of Medicine–Their calculators include the Valuing Library Services Calculator and the Cost Benefit and ROI Calculator. These have the potential to be very useful tools.
- “Connecting with Administrators: Demonstrating the Value of Library Services” presented by Edward J. Poletti of the Central Arkansas Veterans Health Care System in Little Rock, AR–He and VA Library colleagues conducted value studies of shared electronic resources, ILL, and literature searches. His presentation included a list of sources of dollar values such as Fortney’s “Price History for Core Clinical Journals in Medicine and Nursing 2003-2007″ and “Doody’s core titles in the health sciences 2007: list overview and analysis.” This paper received honorable mention for the MLA Research Award, and a summary is available at the MLA Federal Libraries Section blog.
- “Bridging the Gap: Using Dollar Values to Demonstrate the Value of Library Services” presented by Julia Esparza of Louisana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, LA–Her experience with assigning and tracking dollar values included analysis of copying/printing costs and article costs.
- “The Academic Library’s Perspective on Assessment and Institutional Role” presented by James Shedlock of Northwestern University in Chicago, IL–In comparative benchmarking, libraries should look at their “true peers” ie, institutions that are similar programmatically.
- “Quantum Physics and Hospital Library Assessment” presented by Michele Klein-Fedyshin of UPMC Shadyside, Pittsburgh, PA–Assessment must be locally relevant and there are various possible foci, such as the financial impact of local consortia, the impact of library services on nursing certification, prevention of hospital acquired infections, cost savings from library contributions to pay-for-performance, library as drug information center, etc.
- “University Investment in the Library: What’s the Return?” presentations at the MLA Elsevier exhibit reported on an Elsevier-funded case study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in which a model for calculating Return on Investment (ROI) was developed.