The Bottom Line: Determining and Communicating the Value of the Special Library

The Bottom Line: Determining and Communicating the Value of the Special Library

The Bottom Line: Determining and Communicating the Value of the Special Library

The Bottom Line: Determining and Communicating the Value of the Special Library

Synopsis

"Describing how value is added and how it can best be measured, Joseph Matthews explains different types of evaluations (models, implications, and methods) and a variety of measures (input, process, and output). He shows how a cost-benefit analysis and a library balanced scorecard, along with effective communication, can position the library as a "value center" rather than a "cost center." A glossary, list of recommended reading, and an appendix (including a library benefits survey and a table of measures with respective definitions) make this the ultimate means of establishing the value of your library - an essential guide no special librarian should be without!"--BOOK JACKET. Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

That which today calls itself science gives us more and
more information, an indigestible glut of information, and
less and less understanding
.

—Edward Abbey

Data, whether numeric or textual, become information when they are organized and imbued with purpose or intelligence resulting from the assembly, analysis, or summary of data into a meaningful form. The intent of information is, after all, to [inform.] Another way to define [information] is in the form of an equation:

data + context = information.

Information is the outcome when relationships among data are established. Instituting the structure, relations, rules, and conditions used to establish those relations among data elements is what distinguishes really good information. As noted by Daniel Bell and Nicholas Negroponte, information is increasingly replacing matter and energy as the primary resource of society; in other words, the economy is moving from atoms to bits.

Data are the [unorganized
sludge] of the Information
Age
.
—Robert Lucky

It is important to distinguish between two concepts: the information content of a message and the service or resources used to provide or transmit the message. Information is the content of the message, or that which informs. Information resources are the services, the packages, and the support technologies and systems used to generate, store, organize, manipulate, and provide access to these information-bearing entities or what Arlene Taylor calls [information packages.]

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