Posted by: Ali | December 4, 2009

Maxim: What is impact? (notes from overview pt 1)

Markless and Streatfield define impact as:

any effect of the service (or an event or initiative) on an individual or group

Could be +ve or -ve, relate to quality of life or educational or other outcomes

Value – often used to describe impact. Urquhart and Hepworth (2) define value as:

the benefit the user obtains from the use of information and the effect of that use

 Examples of impact evaluation – several readings given. Streatfield and Markless appear to be key authors, and have researched the evaluation of library services in the academic sector.

How is impact maximised?
can be done in several ways
– common way is to promote services using marketing – to increase awareness, increase usage and thereby impact on users
– impact can also be maximised by “adding value” to services: making services as effective and efficient as possible; encourage friendliness and courtesy (this seems a bit of a stretch, isnt this a basic service standard?); introducing new or extending library services

How is impact evaluated – readings given

(1)  Markless, S., & Streatfield, D. (2006). Evaluating the impact of your library. London: Facet.

(2) Urquhart, C., & Hepworth, J. (1995). The value to clinical decision making of information supplied by NHS library and information services: British Library Research and Development Department.


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