Assessment and Accountability in Reference Work, Issues 37-38
Assessment and Accountability in Reference Work explores the issue of library assessment methods and the impact of accountability on the delivery of reference services. It is a call for librarians to actively adopt performance measures and learn how to work with the results. This fascinating book explores a wealth of assessment methods that librarians can use to collect data and create standards that are valid, practical, and useful in accounting for reference services. Some of the methodologies described include quantitative measures, qualitative measures, patron surveys, questionnaires, interviews, case studies, peer review, unobtrusive testing, and even updating the library's policies and procedures manual as a way to evaluate services. A variety of assessment methods for reference services are applied to all types of libraries. Chapters in Assessment and Accountability in Reference Work describe how a small town library defends the relevancy of its services at a town meeting, how a special library documents the value of its services to cost-conscious management, and how academic libraries can become involved in university- and college-level assessment programs. Librarians seeking to develop their own assessment methods will benefit from practical advice on assessing diversity in the library, and helpful suggestions for improving reference services through training workshops, peer-coaching, and changes in organizational climate. A valuable bibliography of additional resources on assessment and accountability assembled by the editors completes this well-rounded work. All librarians concerned with finding the best way to justify the value of their reference services will find Assessment and Accountability in Reference Work a valuable introduction to the assessment methods that will fit the individual needs of their libraries.
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