Library Assessment in Higher Education
2nd Edition
by Joseph R. Matthews
December 2014, 226pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-61069-817-7
$60, £47, 53€, A83
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-818-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This volume provides academic librarians with the tools they need to demonstrate the library’s contributions to everything from enrollment numbers to student learning to institutional reputation.

Written specifically to address the library's role in education, this book provides guidance on performing assessment at academic institutions that will serve to improve teaching effectiveness and prove your library's impact on student learning outcomes—and thereby demonstrate your library's value.

Academic libraries are increasingly being asked to demonstrate their value as one of many units on campus, but determining the outcomes of an academic library within the context of its collegiate setting is challenging. This book explains and clarifies the practice of assessment in academic institutions, enabling library managers to better understand and explain the impact of the library on student learning outcomes, teaching effectiveness, and research productivity.

Providing essential information for all college and university librarians, this volume discusses and summarizes the outcomes of research that has been conducted to investigate assessment within the context of higher education. This updated second edition incorporates additional research, examines new trends, and covers groundbreaking advances in digital assessment tools as well as the changes in the amount and forms of data utilized in the assessment process. The chapters address assessment from a campus setting and present data that demonstrate the value of the library within that setting in terms of learning, research, and overall impact. In sum, the book presents librarians with up-to-date, practical guidelines for planning and conducting assessment.


  • Demonstrates the critical nature of assessment in academic libraries in the 21st century
  • Identifies and discusses in detail effective assessment practices in higher education
  • Explains why and how specific methods have been useful in determining the library's impact
  • Suggests methods to use to demonstrate your library's significant value in multiple areas
  • Identifies ways in which any library can get started with assessment in their library
  • Shows how libraries can demonstrate their support of the university's vision and mission
Joseph R. Matthews is a consultant who has assisted numerous academic, public, and special libraries in a wide variety of projects. He was an instructor at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science. His published work includes The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services; The Customer-Focused Library: Re-Inventing the Public Library From the Outside-In; Research-Based Planning for Public Libraries: Increasing Relevance in the Digital Age; Listening to the Customer; Measuring for Results: The Dimensions of Public Library Effectiveness; and Strategic Planning and Management for Library Managers, all published by Libraries Unlimited.


"The book provides any academic librarians with up-to-date and practical information that is valuable for planning and implementing library assessment. It should prove appropriate and a must-have for all assessment librarians in an academic setting. The book will absolutely be a valued addition to any academic library collection. Library Assessment in Higher Education will make a significant contribution to the existing literature on assessment of higher institutions and academic libraries."—Performance Measurement and Metrics, September 20, 2016

"The broad perspective format of the book provides a good way to see many of the issues associated with assessment. It is recommended for academic libraries."—College & Research Libraries, December 23, 2015

"[The author] aims the book explicitly at library directors and managers, who will find the blend of theory, application, and data more appealing. Librarians who have the responsibility to manage a library’s assessment activities will also find value in the specific guidelines and examples of other academic library assessment plans. . . . Some of Matthews’s comments are pithy reminders of important aspects of assessment. For those individuals who become mired in the data, Matthews reminds us that “assessment is a process and not a goal” (p. 205). As such, reading Library Assessment in Higher Education is an excellent part of that process."—Technical Services Quarterly, September 1, 2015
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