Value of Library and Information Services
Project Update: May 2001
Keith Cogdill, Eileen Abels, Lisl Zach, Denise Lee
University of Maryland, College of Information Studies
The Value of Library and Information Services in Hospitals and Academic Health Sciences Centers: Preliminary Findings
Sponsored by MLA, this study investigates the value of library and information services in hospitals and academic health sciences centers (AHSCs). The research questions guiding this study are: (1) What are the indicators of value used by administrators in hospitals and AHSCs when evaluating the performance of libraries/information centers and other units within the organization? (2) What measurable surrogates can be used for each indicator of value? (3) How is performance information communicated to administrators?
Librarians and administrators in hospitals and AHSCs.
The study includes four phases of data collection, three of which will be completed by May 2001. The first phase is a review of the literature, the aim of which is to develop an initial typology of indicators of value and measurable surrogates. In the second phase of data collection, interviews are conducted with librarians and administrators at six nationally ranked hospitals and AHSCs. The third phase of the study is a focus group of administrators from hospitals and AHSCs. The purpose of the focus group is to verify the typology of value indicators, to consider additional indicators of value, and to explore methods of communicating the value of library and information services. The final phase of data collection is the administration of two electronic questionnaires: one for directors of library and information services and the second for organizational administrators. The purposes of the questionnaire phase of the study are (1) to validate the typology of indicators of value and their measurable surrogates, and (2) to collect data on the perceived applicability of each indicator of value.
The results of this research include: (1) a validated taxonomy of indicators of value relevant to library and information services in hospitals and AHSCs; and (2) descriptions of successful methods of communicating the value of library and information services to administrators in these settings.
This research builds on existing evidence of the contributions of library and information services to patient care. Specifically, this study focuses on the value of library and information services as communicated to and perceived by hospital and AHSC administrators.
Keith Cogdill, Ph.D.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2007 June 06