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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS060061)

Outcome indicators for public library evaluation: A proposal based on case studies of administration evaluation by local governments
No.60, p.61-86
Issue date

Purpose: The objective of this research was to investigate the status of outcome indicators for the assessment of public libraries adopted in public sector evaluations, to identify issues associated with outcome indicators, and to propose appropriate indicators. This was done by comparing outcome indicators proposed for assessing public libraries in previous studies.

Methods: The actual conditions in public sector evaluations officially announced by local governments were investigated. Specifically, outcome indicators were gathered from assessment reports of public sector evaluations made public on the web-sites of local governments and were analyzed based on classification into four types.

Results: Most of the outcome indicators adopted by local governments were as expected, such as the number of books loaned. There were very few cases of using indicators that had been suggested in previous research. Because it was difficult to measure outcome indicators, there were few examples that were replaced by output indicators, however, there were many examples in which output indicators are possibly assumed to measure the outcome of library services, and it was assumed that local government staff were not aware of the results of library services. This research suggests that some outcome indicators are more appropriate for assessing public libraries from the three viewpoints of economic value, benefits to users and contribution to communities.

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