Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Conference Notes LAC 2012: Parallel Session IV (Communicating Value)

Parallel Session IV: Communicating Value
Date: October 30, 2012, 1:30pm

I. "Telling the Story: Library Assessment for University Leadership."

  • Presentation about how their library, UVa, prepared for a presentation to their administration for funding. 
  • See article in
  • What makes a good financial model: 
    • Enhances decision-making. 
    • Transparency. 
    • Fosters accountability. 
    • Provides stable funding for institutional priorities. 
    • Provides appropriate incentives. 
  • The library is an area that adds value to an institution, even if does not generate revenue. 
  • Shaping the story. Articulate your purpose and mission, and you need to present it externally: provost, administrators, and others outside the library. 
    • Describe and understand your constituents. For example, faculty want access to resources. Students may be interested in more spaces. 
    • Share your ambition. Talk about your proactive innovations and visions, and again, share. 
    • Paint your financial picture. Spaces, services, collections (what you spend money on). Tie costs to your mission statement. 
  • ARL libraries can use peer institution data. For others, try to find peer data for benchmarking. 
  • But a lot of this is input data. Next, we need to discuss outcomes data. 
  • From the Q&A: 
    • Deans may not "understand" the library, but we do. Faculty does too. Get faculty to tell your story too. 

II. "Making the Case for Institutional Investment in Libraries: The Value of Evidence-Based Narratives."
  • The narrative: what we want administration to know. 
    • Our contribution to student and faculty success. 
    • Our contribution to university mission visibility. 
  •  Develop short, focused messages. 
  • Use data to support your narrative. 
  • Focus on what is important to the institution. 
  • Build on the library's existing strengths. 
  • Tell your story using evidence. 
  • Enlist support of others in the university community. 

III. "The ICOLC Balanced Scorecard Pilot.: The Value of Collaborative Parallel Play."
  • This idea was originally for for-profit organizations, but it has been adapted to mission-driven non-profits. 
  • Learn more about ICOLC at their site:
  • (Honestly, I did not really get a whole lot of much out of this presentation. All I remember is a bunch of charts). 
IV. "Consortia Value: The Orbis Cascade Alliance."
  • See Megan Oakleaf's The Value of Academic Libraries
  •  Recommendations: 
    • Form an ongoing assessment group. 
    • Embed indicators of success in all future planning efforts and initiatives. 
    • Develop common data set. 
    • Develop an assessment took kit. 
    • Create a set of "elevator speeches," testimonials, so on. (I actually learned this one back at Immersion in Seattle summer a year ago). 
    • (Overall, I get the impression I probably need to read the Oakleaf book. Of this session, the first two sessions were the ones I found a bit more useful in terms of some valuable nuggets). 

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