The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services
2nd Edition
by Joseph R. Matthews
October 2017, 446pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-5536-8
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5537-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In today’s competitive marketplace, improving library services and conveying how libraries make a difference are more important than ever.

This guide provides library directors, managers, and administrators in all types of libraries with complete and up-to-date instructions on how to evaluate library services in order to improve them.

It’s a fact: today’s libraries must evaluate their services in order to find ways to better serve patrons and prove their value to their communities. In this greatly updated and expanded edition of Matthews’ seminal text, you’ll discover a breadth of tools that can be used to evaluate any library service, including newer tools designed to measure customer and patron outcomes.

The book offers practical advice backed by solid research on virtually every aspect of evaluation, including quantitative and qualitative tools, data analysis, and specific recommendations for measuring individual services, such as technical services and reference and interlibrary loan. New chapters give readers effective ways to evaluate critical aspects of their libraries such as automated systems, physical space, staff, performance management frameworks, eBooks, social media, and information literacy.

The author explains how broader and more robust adoption of evaluation techniques will help library managers combine traditional internal measurements, such as circulation and reference transactions, with more customer-centric metrics that reflect how well patrons feel they are served and how satisfied they are with the library. By applying this comprehensive strategy, readers will gain the ability to form a truer picture of their library’s value to its stakeholders and patrons.


  • Helps librarians to thoroughly examine their libraries' services toward making improvements
  • Enables librarians to answer with authority the question "what difference do we make?"
  • Explains the most effective ways of conducting library measurement and evaluation, covering qualitative and quantitative tools, data analysis, and specific methodologies for measuring and assessing specific services
  • Offers a highly readable and clear treatment of a topic of paramount importance, but that librarians often find difficult
Joseph R. Matthews is president of JRM Consulting and has provided consulting assistance to numerous academic, public, and special libraries and local governments. He was an instructor at the School of Library Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University, where he was honored as a SLIS Outstanding Scholar. Matthews has taught evaluation of library services, library information systems, strategic planning, management, and research methods. He is author of numerous articles as well as more than 30 books, including Adding Value to Libraries, Museums, and Archives: Harnessing the Force That Drives Your Organization's Future; Managing with Data and Metrics: Using ACRLMetrics and PLAmetrics; Getting Started with Evaluation; Reflecting on the Future of Academic and Public Libraries; Listening to the Customer; Library Assessment in Higher Education; The Customer-Focused Library: Re-Inventing the Public Library From the Outside-In; The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services; and Strategic Planning and Management for Library Managers. Matthews is an invited conference speaker and is active in the American Library Association and the Association of College & Research Libraries. He is editor of Public Library Quarterly and is on the editorial boards of Performance Measurement and Metrics and Library Hi Tech.


"...I would highly recommend this book to any librarian looking to do an evaluation of resource and services, individually or overall, or anyone interested in becoming an expert on the topic."—Technical Services Quarterly, April 12, 2019

"This publication provides a fantastic theoretical and practical guide to evaluating and assessing libraries. . . . The Evaluation and Measurement of Library Services is a great resource for all library professionals due to its impact on literally every aspect of library services and operations."—ARBA, November 12, 2018
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