Performance measurement and quality assurance

Performance measures are essential management tools in organisations

They can include input/output-based metrics or numbers such as usage statistics or other operational measures.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) help: 

  • Measure the quality of services; 

  • Determine whether strategic objectives are being met 

  • Assess the impact and effectiveness of services (Dalton, 2012)

  • Performance measures can include input/output-based metrics or numbers such as usage statistics or other operational measures 

ISO16439  - An international standard: Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries provides clarity and consistency about all aspects of library assessment    

Some of the definitions within the ISO16439 have been incorporated into the value and impact toolkit   

Irish hospital libraries  

An overview of performance indicators is provided by Dalton, 2012, who developed a set ofmeasures for Irish hospital libraries.    

This comprised 5 indicators:   

  1. Influence on patient care or guiding clinical practice/policy 

  1. Length of hospital stay 

  1. Referral to another department 

  1. Staff time 

  1. Risk/error reduction 

Academic libraries  

According to SCONUL, key performance indicators (KPI) are financial and non-financial metrics used to quantify objectives and reflect the strategic performance of an organisation 

Sconul are collecting data on KPIs for UK academic libraries 

For academic libraries in the USA ACRL provides a range of standards outlining the expectations for an excellent academic library service.  They include standards for information literacy.  

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021