What Do You Want To Tell? What Do They Need To Hear? ASERL’s New Metrics Pilot Project


Increasingly, libraries are being asked to demonstrate their impact and value to students and faculty; however, libraries may not have the staff or tools to facilitate this request. ASERL recognizes that while libraries may not have on-staff expertise and resources to to communicate their value, they do collect large amounts of data in the course of their regular activities.

The Solution

In 2016, ASERL (Association of Southeastern Research Libraries) began a pilot project to help libraries develop new ways to tell their story beyond traditional metrics such as circulation and door counts.

  • College of William & Mary
  • Duke University
  • East Carolina University
  • Emory University
  • Florida International University
  • Florida State University
  • George Mason University
  • Georgia State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Mississippi State University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Central Florida
  • University of Florida
  • University of Louisville
  • University of Mississippi
  • UNC Chapel Hill
  • UNC Charlotte
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Wake Forest University

The First Six Months

  • Task force development
  • Team meetings
  • ARL Library Assessment Conference Meetup
  • Website with Google Drive access
  • Develop timeline


Vision and Principles

The “New Metrics for Research Libraries” pilot will create a model for ASERL member libraries to lead assessment activities that inform data-driven decision making and evidence-based analyses. The three-year pilot will examine existing metrics in new ways, searching for opportunities to demonstrate library impact and value to stakeholders.

These activities support the creation of a culture of assessment to demonstrate the impact of libraries and reinforce the competencies needed to capture, measure and illustrate library value. The principles below illustrate current and aspirational practices that guide assessment in ASERL member libraries.

  • Provide a framework for regular and rigorous assessment that fosters understanding of library services, collections and library spaces;
  • Develop and sustain a culture of assessment at all levels in the library;
  • Establish and maintain access to assessment data and management tools to support library scholarship, research, and outreach;
  • Facilitate assessment skills to empower librarians to demonstrate and document library value;
  • Assist in the assessment of student learning, both program-wide and within individual projects;
  • Collaborate in a spirit of collegiality with faculty to demonstrate the impact of teaching and learning;
  • Always maintain a user-centric vision for all aspects of library efforts.

Target Audiences

Developed a list of both primary and secondary stakeholders who would be interested in and informed by this work. The primary audience is defined as those essential to specific institutions while the secondary audiences recognized the need to reach our professional community.

REview of Existing Measures

The review of existing measures task force performed an environmental scan of data already collected by many libraries as well as identifying other measures that some institutions gather.

Next STeps

For MOre Information

Visit the ASERL New Metrics website

Contact Beth Martin at sarmarti@uncc.edu

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