Entries in Value (3)


Value and impact of health libraries and librarians

The Medical Library Association has recently added a page highlighting studies of librarian impact in health settings. The main themes that came out of the comprehensive searches that underpin the project were:

  • Librarians improve clinical decisions and quality of patient care
  • Librarian-lead training equips clinicians to deliver more rational, evidence-based care 
  • Librarians improve the quality of research
  • Librarians help reduce healthcare costs

The page will hopefully serve as an advocacy tool for those who need to demonstrate value and for stakeholders who would benefit from increased awareness of librarian impact. 

Disclosure: I was involved in the early stages of the project, identifying the core set of studies referenced throughout. We searched MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL, Google Scholar, and other resources to find the topnotch studies. The goal wasn't too include all impact studies - there are a lot of them - but the strongest. If you would like us to add a new study, reach out to the main contact on the page (who is by strange coincidence the present author). 


The Value of Library and Information Services in Patient Care: Results of a Multisite Study

From JMLA.  Key findings: 

  • Library and information resources were perceived as valuable, and the information obtained was seen as having an impact on patient care.
  • Electronic access to information resources from multiple locations has increased the ability of health professionals to use these resources for improved patient care.
  • The roles of librarians are diversifying to include management of electronic resources, user instruction and support, specialized research and clinical information search services, and involvement in institution-level quality improvement.
  • It is possible to conduct a large-scale, multisite study on the value and impact of library services on patient care.

    ACRL Report on the Value of Academic Libraries

    Here is the list of recommendations from the report on how to effectively demonstrate your library's value:

    • Define outcomes
    • Create or adopt systems for assessment management
    • Determine what libraries enable students, faculty, student affairs professionals, administrators, and staff to do
    • Develop systems to collect data on individual library user behavior, while maintaining privacy
    • Record and increase library impact on student enrollment
    • Link libraries to improved student retention and graduation rates
    • Enhance library contribution to student job success
    • Track library influences on increased student achievement
    • Demonstrate and develop library impact on student learning
    • Review course content, readings, reserves, and assignments
    • Document and augment library advancement of student experiences, attitudes, and perceptions of quality
    • Track and increase library contributions to faculty research productivity.
    • Continue to investigate library impact on faculty grant proposals and funding,
      a means of generating institutional income
    • Demonstrate and improve library support of faculty teaching
    • Record library contributions to overall institutional reputation and prestige
    • Participate in higher education assessment initiatives
    • Engage in higher education accreditation processes
    • Appoint liaison librarians to support senior institutional leadership and/or offices of assessment or  institutional research
    • Create library assessment plans
    • Promote and participate in professional development
    • Mobilize library administrators
    • Leverage library professional associations 

    Executive Summary of the Executive Summary: Documentation & Assessment.