There are many definitions to familiarise yourself with before using the tools in the value and impact toolkit. Unless referenced, the following definitions are mainly based on the British Standard.

Non-urgent advice: Further Information

Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries BS ISO 16439:2014.

Impact

The influence of libraries and their services on individuals and/or on society. The difference or change in an individual or group resulting from the contact with library services (3.25)

Note: The change can be tangible or intangible. It may only be possible for the library to contribute to an impact rather than be solely responsible (e.g. length of stay, patient care).

Value

The importance that stakeholders (funding institutions, politicians, the public, users, staff) attach to libraries and which is related to the perception of actual or potential benefit (3.75). The input is converted into output by means of processes. The output can have direct, pre-defined effects (outcomes). Output and outcomes can lead to impact and finally to value.

Benefit or worth. Can include monetary value and impact (Bawden et al, 2009). Can include utility or usefulness, is determined by the service user and is difficult to disentangle from quality. 

Input

Contribution of resources in support of a library (e.g. funding, staff, collections, electronic resource provision, space, equipment) (3.28)

Metric

A criteria against which something is measured (Showers, 2015); A criterion or set of criteria stated in quantifiable terms (OED)

Set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs (e.g. lending, reference service, training, literature search service) (3.50)

Outcome

Direct, pre-defined effect of the output related to goals and objectives of the library’s planning (e.g. number of users, user satisfaction levels) (3.44)
Consequences of deploying services on the people who encounter them or the communities served (Markless and Streatfield, 2006, p7)

Output

Products of library processes (e.g. loans, downloads from the electronic collection, reference questions answered, literature searches undertaken, training sessions performed) (3.45)

Process

Set of interrelated or interacting activities which transforms inputs into outputs (e.g. lending, reference service, training, literature search service) (3.50)


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Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021