At ICML+EAHIL2017 we facilitated a workshop called Cooperation and benchmarking – finding the value and impact together.
We invited the participants to take part in our benchmarking project. We wanted them to help us to identify more future oriented indicators* and also to discuss how — or if — benchmarking can provide tools for creating an evidence base for health librarianship. The goal of the workshop was to find some new and exciting ideas to take further. We used brainwriting as a tool to find and refine the ideas.
The first part of the session was spent on identifying new ideas for indicators to help measuring impact and value for international (health) library benchmarking.
The best ideas for indicators — quotations from post-it notes — from this brainwriting sessions were:
- Number of high “grade” student essays/exam papers in relation to librarian time spent teaching/tutoring
- How has the literature search been used to change practice?
- Impact on national health policies index/indicator
- When host organisation cites the library’s contribution in press releases or publicity
- What is the new role of a librarian? Non-traditional work
- Publications from the faculty; visibility in altmetrics
- Can the customer get the grant he/she applies
- Time saved by faculty e.g. lecture writing, student remediation
- Proportion of knowledge syntheses that reach publication
- Increase in application usage after a conference
- Chocolate/biscuits/cards — how many gifts (you get from customers)
During the second part of the session the participants discussed how (or if) benchmarking can provide tools for creating an evidence base for health librarianship. There were five questions and the participants came up with lots of ideas and then voted for the ones that they liked best. Here are the ideas and proposals that were most popular — again quotations from post-it notes:
1. How can benchmarking provide tools for creating an evidence base for health librarianship?
- Develop indicators which are clearly articulated and detailed to enable consistent application across different services.
2. How can cooperation and benchmarking be seen as research activities?
- Will help develop “industry standards” to be adopted by the profession.
3. How can cooperation and benchmarking be used for measuring the impact of libraries and librarians?
- It will give you “evidence” by comparing both qualitative and quantitative measures.
4. How to inspire staff for change?
- By empowering them, trusting them, and giving them freeway to make decisions.
5. Something else?
- More national and international collaboration.
We are very grateful for all the participants for working hard and being so active. We hope everyone got something to bring back, some food for thought, found new connections and were able to extend their professional network.
* ISO 11620 (2014) definition of indicator: Expression used to characterize activities both in quantitative and qualitative terms in order to assess the value of the activities characterized, and the associated method.