Journal Club: Developing a Generic Tool to Routinely Measure the Impact of Health Libraries

Meeting date: Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Presenter: Catherine Young

Citation: Ayre, S., Brettle, A., Gilroy, D., Knock, D., Mitchelmore, R.,… Turner, J. (2018). Developing a generic tool to routinely measure the impact of health libraries. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 35(3), 227-245. doi:

Article abstract:

Health libraries contribute to many activities of a health care organisation. Impact assessment needs to capture that range of contributions.

To develop and pilot a generic impact questionnaire that: (1) could be used routinely across all English NHS libraries; (2) built on previous impact surveys; and (3) was reliable and robust.

This collaborative project involved: (1) literature search; (2) analysis of current best practice and baseline survey of use of current tools and requirements; (3) drafting and piloting the questionnaire; and (4) analysis of the results, revision and plans for roll out.

The framework selected was the International Standard Methods And Procedures For Assessing The Impact Of Libraries (ISO 16439). The baseline survey (n = 136 library managers) showed that existing tools were not used, and impact assessment was variable. The generic questionnaire developed used a Critical Incident Technique. Analysis of the findings (n = 214 health staff and students), plus comparisons with previous impact studies indicated that the questionnaire should capture the impact for all types of health libraries.

The collaborative project successfully piloted a generic impact questionnaire that, subject to further validation, should apply to many types of health library and information services.

Critical Appraisal: 

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