The final report has now been published.

Download the report for free

Findings from three geographic areas, the United States, United Kingdom and Scandinavia, indicated that there is no systematic evidence of the value of academic libraries for teaching and research staff. Despite this, librarians noted that they receive positive feedback about the support the library provides, but there is a perception that academic staff do not really know how to use all that the library can offer.

Outlined in the report are three key issues identified by librarians as being central to working together with faculty. These are: value measurement and perception; working together with researchers and teachers; and raising awareness about library products and services. The report sets out examples of best practice and makes a series of recommendations for libraries and university management to improve the perceived value of academic libraries with teaching and research staff.

Chief recommendations

The report highlights the need for individual libraries to develop teaching skills: embedded teaching and co-teaching are extremely valued by teaching staff, who can observe the benefits in the quality of the assignments they receive from students. Communication was also viewed as a key. This includes building an increased understanding of marketing skills, as well as greater personal relationships with teaching and research departments. Confidence in librarianship skills and the motivation of library staff to take on these new roles was seen as vital to success.

Library managers can also support these changes, the report advises, by supporting staff in acquiring new teaching skills, and reviewing resource allocation to enable librarians more proactive contact time with research and teaching staff. It also advises the systematic collection of evidence of value, suggesting that this be a specific responsibility for a senior member of library staff.

There are also recommendations for senior university managers. The findings showed that the engagement of the library with teaching and research staff should be multidimensional, or in other words should take place at all levels of the institution, not just between librarians and departmental liaison staff. This is seen as an important means to raise the profile of the library, and demonstrate its value to the wider institution. Where library staff had an equivalent status to teaching and research staff, they found it easier to promote their services, as they were seen by those staff as partners in the teaching and research process. Ensuring such status, they summarise, may be a daunting culture change, but is vital in fostering good personal relationships between the library and teaching and research staff.


20 Responses to “Report”

  1. 1 Library Value July 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Further to the comments left by readers on this page, we have updated the link to take you straight to the report – enjoy!

  2. 2 Adrian Driscoll (@caxtonian) June 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    The UX is a bit misleading. Form also has a few too many required fields….

  3. 3 Joyce Ogburn June 28, 2012 at 2:17 am

    I agree that too much detail was requested. I might have ignored it and moved on but my library was featured as a case study.

  4. 4 Mel DeSart June 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Actually, you _can’t_ just “access the report by clicking on the link below:”, as is stated above. Only by _first_ supplying about a dozen pieces of individual and institutional contact information (two of which I’ve supplied below in order to post this comment) will you be provided with a link to the report. Thanks, but no thanks.

    • 5 Library Value June 26, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Mel,
      Sorry to hear that. The report is free to download once the form is completed. We’re obviously keen to see who the report is of interest to, hence the details we have asked for. Your details will not be used for any other purposes.

      • 6 Mape June 29, 2012 at 5:11 am

        I agree with Mel DeSart: you ask too much information. Organisation and role should be enough: why do you need street adress etc. People are too busy to fill that kind of forms.

      • 7 E White July 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        Surely all you need then is a job title and place of employment. I, too, am not willing not supply all that information in return for the report, interesting though it sounds.

    • 8 I. K. Antwi June 28, 2012 at 8:52 am


  1. 1 Celebrating Open Access Week | SAGE Connection Trackback on October 19, 2012 at 9:13 am
  2. 2 Summary – 4th August – Librarians and Publishers « #uklibchat Trackback on September 8, 2012 at 2:55 pm
  3. 3 What role will Academic Libraries play in moving towards an open access future? Trackback on September 4, 2012 at 8:00 am
  4. 4 Library value and visibility « Libwebrarian's Blog Trackback on August 21, 2012 at 11:38 am
  5. 5 Working together: evolving value for academic libraries | WHELF Trackback on August 21, 2012 at 10:59 am
  6. 6 The search for value – part two « Library of the European Parliament's Blog Trackback on July 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm
  7. 7 The final report « libraryvalue Trackback on July 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm
  8. 8 New SAGE and LISU report on demonstrating library value released – Stephen's Lighthouse Trackback on July 16, 2012 at 2:22 am
  9. 9 Weekendvitaminen #32 « Zeemanspraat Trackback on June 29, 2012 at 3:04 pm
  10. 10 CIBER NewsLetter » Blog Archive » Letture - Working together: evolving value for academic libraries Trackback on June 25, 2012 at 11:07 am
  11. 11 More News & Annnouncements | Trackback on June 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm
  12. 12 Providing evidence of value remains an elusive goal for academic libraries | SAGE Connection Trackback on June 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


‘Working together: evolving value for academic libraries’ is a six-month research project that will investigate the value of academic libraries for academic departments.

For more information

Please visit this site again soon for updates about the project, and to participate in the project blog.

For details of how you can get involved in the project, please visit our About the project and Contact pages.




%d bloggers like this: