Assessment and Accountability in Reference Work Hardback
Edited by Susan Griswold Blandy, Lynne M. Martin, Mary L. Strife
Part of the Routledge Library Editions: Library and Information Science series
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This book, first published in 1992, 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.
It analyses 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.