Passing on the benchmarking baton — welcome to our workshop in Cardiff

We are delighted and honoured to see that the interactive workshop we will facilitate on Wednesday 11th July from 14:00 to 15:30 in Studio 2  in Cardiff is already fully booked. Maybe it is not so surprising when we only accept 20 workshop attendees because the required level of participant activity is very high.

The title — and topic of the workshop — is Passing on the benchmarking baton: workshop on cooperation methods, using new indicators, finding partners, and reporting results. The methods will include speed-dating, brain-storming and brain-writing.

Our workshop aims to

  1. Share methods and tools;
  2. Encourage cooperation and new partnerships between libraries and librarians;
  3. Build on new indicators that were identified during the Dublin workshop;
  4. Identify themes and methods for new benchmarking projects;
  5. Find methods and channels to report to colleagues.

As a participant, you will have the opportunity to meet new partners for future benchmarking projects and to learn and practise tools to use in your workshops.

Why do we want to pass on the benchmarking baton?

For about five years, we have collected and tried to compare plenty of data and statistics, had dozens of online meetings and a few live meetings, made site visits to each of the participating libraries, interviewed library users, interviewed library staff, discussed  library as a place, marketing, information skills training, and many other aspects of our work. We have also maintained this blog where we have shared experiences and thoughts on benchmarking issues.

We have also had a focus group session in EAHIL+ICAHIS+ICML 2015 workshop in Edinburgh, prepared and presented a paper at EAHIL 2016 conference in Seville, moreover, facilitated an interactive workshop session in ICML+EAHIL 2017 in Dublin. Most importantly, we have learned a lot.

Now it is not only finally the time to pass on the benchmarking baton to you, but we also need to move on — to new projects and roles, to different challenges and experiences.

Part of a workshop planning document

Part of a workshop planning document

So, what we are proposing, is that you start benchmarking! Our benchmarking project brought us to compare different ways of organising library area and services, of managing staff and coordinate relationships within the institution and outside, and how to train users to information literacy and establish and maintain connections with faculty and hospital. Current and traditional statistics did not help us. They could be compared but did not provide us with handy information, partly because they do not cover the same reality (e.g. economics, mostly). ISO indicators were difficult to use because our countries, working cultures and usages are different.

We came to the point where we wanted to investigate the value of the library, and what we needed was new indicators to compare this value. Impact of our project was that EAHIL members took part in our benchmarking and collaborated in our workshops to propose these new indicators, which could better address our goals. We hope this last workshop will help you to set your goals and encourage you to start something as rewarding as our project.

If you have not attended our previous workshop (or participated in the focus group or heard the presentation) or read this blog before, please, take a look at the background, the participating libraries, and the About page, in addition to reading at least some of the linked posts — most of them are shorter than this one.

We would also really appreciate it, if you could shortly comment who you are, where you work and/or study, and why you have chosen our workshop.

See you in Cardiff!