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Lib-Value: Value, Outcomes, and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries

Principal Investigator: 

Dr. Carol Tenopir
Chancellor’s Professor, Director of Research, and Director of CICS
University of Tennessee
College of Communication and Information
423 Communications Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-0341
Phone: 865.974.6651

Grant or Funding Agency:

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Project Description:

Lib-Value is the third phase of an extensive project looking at the return on investment (ROI) of academic libraries.  Phase I worked to develop a quantitative measurement of the library’s ROI; this phase conducted at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  Phase II continued looking at academic libraries’ ROI, specifically through the analysis of the grant funding process; this phase evaluated the grant process of eight worldwide institutions and modified the original ROI evaluation methodology developed during Phase I.  Phase III is the portion of the ROI project, this portion is called the Lib-Value project that works to define and create measurements for the many areas of service offered by academic libraries.  It is during this third phase that the project members focus on three areas of measurement: “teaching / learning, research, and the social, professional, and public engagement functions of the library.”

The Lib-Value project works to assess the value of academic libraries.  Through assessment, this project addresses how libraries measure their institutional worth through their contribution to their university and the academic community.  This project works to establish methodologies for determining and demonstrating the return on investment (ROI) and the value of the library to its institution.  With the assessments, the library management will have tools to analyze the value of the library and the management can then make the decisions that will have the most positive impact on the library and its institution.  The project expects to have three primary outcomes, “1) models for calculating value and ROI in academic libraries, 2) web-based tools for assessing ROI and value which can be used by academic librarians, and 3) an ROI and value calculation in three test libraries.”


Project Website:

Secondary Contact:

Paula Kaufman
Dean of Libraries and University Librarian
230 Main Library, MC-522
1408 West Gregory Drive Urbana, IL 61801
Telephone: 217-333-0790
Fax: 217-244-4358