There are tools and strategies that libraries can use to measure and improve their performance. For example, data analytics can be used to track library usage patterns, identify areas for the collections, space improvements, and to make data-driven decisions about resource allocation and program development. Collaboration with a library consultant and community organizations can help libraries leverage their resources and better serve their community.
Basically, the success of a library is measured by its ability to meet the needs of its community and provide access to knowledge, information, and education. When you assess and improve its performance, a library can better serve its patrons and strengthen its role as a valuable community resource. See Special Library Collections Return on Investment Discussion.
Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd (library consultant) helps libraries strategize their future. We help ensure that their resources (physical and digital) are organized, accessible, and in line with their cultural values and goals. For example, activity level and square footage of the library can be used to measure the efficiency of the library’s use of space. Please note, they should not be the sole metrics you use. Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD measure the success of the library by engaging in a process and methodology. Below are some basic suggestions you can use to start to determine use activity level and square footage to measure success:
Facility efficiency: To measures the efficiency of the library’s facilities, such as environment, lighting, airflow, and HVAC, we work with team leaders, architects and facilities management to determine if the library is able to provide a comfortable environment for users. We develop resilient libraries that minimizes energy use. We focus on successful outcomes in terms of facility efficiency.
User satisfaction: To measure user satisfaction with the library’s facilities and services, we provide workshops and gather feedback. We use this information to assess user satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
Activity level per square footage: To measure the number of community activities and information services offered, we analyze the library per square foot of space. For example, a high activity level per square footage can indicate that the library is making efficient use of its space.
Space utilization: To measures how well the library is using its space, we provide programming services. For example, if the library has a large amount of unused space, it may not be making efficient use of its resources.
Start a Project
Our metrics provide the community with useful information about the library’s use of space. For years, we have studied different program measurements and service models. These translate into the types of success the library wants in its future. It is important to consider a variety of factors. Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd Library Consultant studies library user engagement and community outreach and we help libraries build partnerships. Aaron Cohen Associates, ltd Library Consultant look at the overall impact on the community when assessing the success of a library.
Metrics to Measure Success
Digital resource usage: Our team measures the usage of online resources such as e-books, databases, and other digital materials. For example, a high usage rate can indicate that the library is meeting the needs of users who prefer to access information online.
Community engagement: Our team measures the library’s engagement with the community through partnerships, outreach, and other initiatives. For example, a high level of community engagement can indicate that the library is working to meet the needs of the community it serves.
User satisfaction: Our team measures user satisfaction with the library’s services, materials, and facilities. Our workshops and feedback can be used to measure user satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
Circulation: Our team measures the number of items borrowed from the library, such as books, DVDs, and other materials. For example, a high circulation rate can be used to update the library collection. We can make sure the library is providing materials that are in demand by the community.
Program attendance: Our team measures the number of people who attend library programs such as story-time, author talks, and other events. For example, the attendance rate can indicate that the library is offering programs that are of interest to the community.
Reference services: Our team measures the number of reference questions and interactions with library users. For example, the number of reference questions can indicate that the library is providing valuable information and assistance to its users.
This is just a sample, there are other metrics we can use to support your library.
Below is a social media methodology that can be used to visualize the future. Ross Dawson developed the model below.
Make it the Busiest Buildings
Indeed, libraries play an important role in providing access to knowledge, education, and community resources. Make your library one of the busiest buildings in your city and enable the library to help ensure that the community has access to important collections and resources.
Access to books and materials: Libraries provide access to a wide range of books, magazines, newspapers, and other materials that can be used for learning, research, and entertainment. By having access to these resources, people can expand their knowledge and improve their lives.
Education and learning: Libraries are places where people can learn new skills, improve their literacy, and access educational resources. They can also attend workshops, seminars, and other events that can help them in their personal and professional development.
Community events: Libraries are often hosts to community events such as book clubs, storytime for kids, and author talks. These events bring people together and create a sense of community.
Digital access: Many libraries also offer access to computers and the internet, which is crucial in today’s digital world. This can help bridge the digital divide and provide access to resources that may otherwise be out of reach for some people.
Quiet study space: Libraries also provide a quiet space for people to study and work. This can be especially important for students or those who work from home and need a distraction-free environment.
While a physical library building is very important, libraries offer valuable resources and services even without one. By engaging with our library technology consulting team, we can provide data analytics, ontological services, and staffing models. Libraries can continue to play a crucial role in providing access to knowledge and education for everyone in the community regardless of the space or the place.
It may seem counterintuitive that library activity would increase online during a building project. However, there are several reasons why this may be the case:
Online resources: Even without a physical building, libraries can offer access to online resources such as e-books, audiobooks, and databases. We can help you model your library collection, which means that people who may not have been able to visit a physical library can still benefit from its resources.
Mobile libraries: We can help the library offer mobile services that bring books and other materials to people who cannot easily access a physical library. We can help you model your library partnerships: schools, community centers, museums and other co-partners to make it easier for people to borrow books and other resources.
Virtual events: We can help the library design virtual events/programming such as mini-courses, book clubs, author talks, and other educational events. These events can be accessed from anywhere, which means that people who may not have been able to attend in-person events can still benefit from the knowledge and resources that the library offers.
Community partnerships: We can help partner with local organizations, schools, and businesses to provide resources and services to the community. We can ask these organizations to attend our workshops. They will be included in our library programming, which will help ensure that everyone in the community has access to the resources they need to thrive.