LIBRARY EVALUATION AND PERFORCEMENT MEASUREMENT:
a review of literature by Fe Angela M. Verzosa In this article we present a survey of methods, old and new, previously and currently in use, to measure the quality of library service. Secondly, we present a survey of library standards on which assessment criteria are generally based. And thirdly, we also review a host of literature on various case studies of library evaluations. Evaluation of library services should be regarded as a management tool, applied to determine how effectively and efficiently the library is serving the needs of its users, to identify the limitations and failures of service, and to recommend ways to improve such service. The extent to which the user’s needs are satisfied depends on the size and collection of the library, the adequacy and accuracy of the organization of its materials, the usefulness of its catalogs and finding tools in providing access to its collection, and the ability and cooperation of the library staff in bringing these materials (or information on these materials) to the attention of the users, and in maximizing the exposure of the users to these resources and to other library services. Some aspects of library service are more easily evaluated than others. Generally, the more concrete or specific the user requirement is, the easier it is to measure user satisfaction in absolute terms. The extent to which the library is used reflects the degree of user satisfaction, which may be measured by subjective procedures such as questionnaires or interviews, or by more objective, quantitative measures, such as percentage calculations and determination of capability indexes, etc. The search for good ways of measuring the quality of service (measuring techniques) must, however, start with defining the characteristics of a “good library,” what characteristics are important to measure, and whether the statistics to be derived from the measurement will be useful and relevant to the determination of the library’s effectiveness or ineffectiveness. Characteristics of a Model Library
In accordance with the statement of PACU-COA, the primary characteristic of a good college or university library is its identification with the institution. “The measure of excellence is the extent to which its resources, services and facilities support the institution’s objectives.” Corollary to this, the functions of the library are basically, to serve as a teaching arm of the institution, to stimulate independent intellectual development, and to contribute to a well-rounded liberal education. Total fulfillment of these functions is, however, an ideal goal to be continuously sought, and expectations as to the degree of success in this process of attainment vary from institutions to institutions. And to PAASCU and other accrediting bodies, it is precisely this diversity of expectations that prompts the library profession to offer criteria for evaluation.
A study initiated in 1977 by S.S. Chweh and published in the Journal of Library Administration under the title “User criteria for evaluation of library service” (Vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 35-46, 1981) reveals ten most significant characteristics of a good library, namely: the availability of books availability of periodicals availability of non-book materials quality of reference service good reference collection a quiet place conducive to reading and study integrity of the catalog friendly service copying facilities helpful librarians Measuring Techniques This part is not intended to survey all instruments of measuring the quality of library service, but only a selection of useful methods applicable to an academic or school library. As more and better measures of performance are devised and used, the task of library evaluation will become easier. The citations for these techniques are enumerated in chronological order by date of publication: Pizer, I.H. and Cain, A. M....
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