LibValue is developing a set of tested methodologies and tools to help academic librarians measure which products and services provide the most value to the university community and best support the university’s mission and goals.
In an age of continually growing digitization, globalization, and abundant information, the value of academic libraries is greater than ever before. College and university libraries remain central to research and education as they ensure information access, foster innovation, encourage collaborative research, and promote information literacy skills vital to the success of tomorrow’s leaders. At the same time, libraries are increasingly necessary resources for gaining the knowledge and tools to face tremendous contemporary challenges like promoting environmental sustainability, bridging the digital divide, and fostering cultural sensitivity in order to celebrate diversity.
Faced with difficult economic times and university budget cuts, the value of the library to the wider goals of the university is increasingly questioned. Return on investment measures are a concrete means of demonstrating to institution administrators and public audiences the vital role academic libraries hold within both their respective communities and on a global scale. While libraries have traditionally been rather modest about broadcasting their own worth, today they must learn to make clear the often unrecognized ways in which they contribute to institutional success. This demonstration of value is exactly what LibValue, an IMLS–funded grant project, aims to empower.