Adding Value to Libraries, Archives, and Museums
Harnessing the Force That Drives Your Organization's Future
by Joseph R. Matthews
March 2016, 271pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-4288-7
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4289-4
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In order to meet the challenges of today’s complex society, established institutions such as libraries, archives, museums, and galleries must go beyond their traditional collections and services to add new values that successfully attract, engage, and invigorate their communities. This book shows them how.

This book explains the concept of adding value and shows staff at libraries and other organizations why they need to take steps now to ensure they are adding new value to their communities—whether it be a local town or neighborhood, a faculty and student body, or a school.

Value is at the core of every organization’s purpose. Without value, organizations die. Libraries—as well as museums, archives, and galleries—have traditionally added value to their communities through their collections and services, but yesterday’s collections and services are no longer enough. In order to remain sustainable, today’s libraries, archives, museums, and galleries must explore new ways to add value that resonate in the lives of their customers.

This unique book explains how addressing the “5 C’s” of adding value—content, context, connection, collaboration, and community—enables organizations to find new ways to invigorate their services, better serve their communities, and thrive today and tomorrow. It addresses adding value in the context of other key topics, such as crowdsourcing, embedded librarianship, makerspaces, self publishing, and repurposing spaces. Filled with charts, tables, screenshots, and other visual representation, this is a useful and provocative guide that anyone interested in vesting in the successful future of libraries, archives, and museums needs to read.


  • Helps managers and administrators create long-range plans for sustainability and growth
  • Offers real-life models of libraries that have successfully implemented concepts of the value-added organization
  • Fills a gap in the literature as the only book written specifically for librarians on the topic of adding value
  • Presents important information and guidance for those who work in all types of libraries, archives, and museums as well as administrators, board members, and other stakeholders who are interested in the future of these vital community resources
  • Includes color charts, website screenshots, and other visual representations that clarify key concepts and points
Joseph R. Matthews is a consultant who has provided assistance to numerous academic, public, and special libraries as well as local governments. He was an instructor at the School of Library Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University and has taught evaluation of library services, library information systems, strategic planning, management, and research methods. Matthews was selected as the SLIS Outstanding Scholar, is active in the American Library Association, and has authored more than 30 books, including Managing with Data and Metrics, Getting Started with Evaluation, Reflecting on the Future, Listening to the Customer, Library Assessment in Higher Education, The Customer-Focused Library, The Digital Library Survival Guide, The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services, Scorecards for Results, Strategic Planning and Management for Library Managers, and Measuring for Results.


"Adding Value to Libraries, Archives, and Museums is a thought-provoking guide for cultural institutions. . . . Library leaders and all who are concerned with how libraries can thrive in new ways will find interesting ideas here."—Information Today, September 15, 2016

"This is a user-friendly, accessible guide that clearly outlines how institutions can enter the digital, global arena to reconnect with their clients and reclaim their positions as innovative, meaningful institutes of knowledge, culture, and community.'—VOYA, December 6, 2016

"[I]nformation professionals from all types of GLAMs [(galleries, libraries, archives, and museums)] will find ideas to inspire discussion and experimentation."—Technical Services Quarterly, December 20, 2016

"One of those rare books that combines a strong foundation of research, actionable DIY ideas, and engaging writing. This logically organized, thoroughly researched, and engaging book is definitely a must read for anyone interested in the future of all types of libraries."—Library Leadership & Management Journal, July 25, 2018
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