The Standing Committee of the Statistics & Evaluation Section met on 24 August and 29 August during the Kuala Lumpur 2018 WLIC. Standing Committee members and guests reported on their activities and discussed plans for the future conferences and the possibility of a satellite conference in the Athens geographic area for 2019.  There were nine members and twenty-one observers attending the first meeting.  During the second meeting there were nine members and six observers attended the session.


IFLA Library Map of the World: The large part of section work for the last two years is related to the IFLA  Library Map of the World project.   IFLA followed up in December 2016 to seek feedback from this Section’s committee members on draft definitions.

IFLA Global Vision: Svitlana Kolesnyk and Rebecca Vargha attended the IFLA President’s Meeting and Global Vision Workshop in Barcelona, Spain, 19-21 March 2018. A workshop was conducted within the Section during the second section meeting on 29 August 2018.  The report from the workshop was sent to IFLA HQ.

Impact Bibliography: Roswitha Poll (University of Münster) created an updated and enlarged version of the Impact and Outcome Bibliography 2018.  There are one hundred twenty-three new titles added to the bibliography which is housed on the Statistics and Evaluation Section website. 

Conference Programmes

At the Kuala Lumpur 2018 Conference, Statistics and Evaluation planned and held two sessions.  The first program was a plenary session titled, “From Data to Advocacy: using Digital Tools Like the IFLA Library Map of the World to Communicate Your Library Stories.” The session included several invited speakers and was the first IFLA session to be live streamed.  There were two hundred persons attending in the plenary session and speakers shared concrete examples of how their libraries proved their value and impact through storytelling.

American Libraries Magazine covered the session and excerpts written by ALA reporter Amy Carlton are as follows and her complete story is available on the American Libraries Magazine website.

  • Speaker 1: “Kristine Paberza, IFLA Member Engagement Officer, explained that the idea for the library map came out of Global Vision discussions, specifically Opportunities 3 (we need to understand community needs better and design services for impact) and 6 (we need to ensure stakeholders understand our value and impact)…
    “Libraries,” Paberza said, “excel at answering “what” questions (action planning and delivery) but sometimes lack answers for “why” (community assessment) and “so what” (impact) questions. The map’s goal is to help with impact measurement because its audience consists primarily of stakeholders and decision-making bodies, not necessarily the library community. She advised librarians who are putting their stories on the map to aim for impact in storytelling; for example, what happened to the person who learned to use a computer in your library? That’s what stakeholders want to know. To that end, IFLA has created a storytelling manual, Libraries and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
  • Speaker 2: “Emily Plagman, manager of the Public Library Association’s Project Outcome, showed attendees how US and Canadian public libraries are using the online toolkit to measure their value effectively and consistently. The toolkit includes standardized surveys, custom data reports, dashboards, resources, and training, and survey topics align with the SDGs.”
  • Speakers 3 and 4: “Svetlana Gorokhova and Olga Sasina of the Margarita Rudomino All-Russia State Library for Foreign Literature in Moscow were dismayed that Russian plans for the UN 2030 Agenda made little mention of libraries. So they translated the IFLA storytelling manual into Russian, then translated all the stories they received into English for uploading to the map.”
  • Speaker 5: “Claudia Åžerbănuţă, public libraries specialist with the Progress Foundation in BistriÈ›a, Romania, credited the library map with helping her communicate the goals of the foundation’s CODE Kids program and raise funds. It also gives her a way to share their successes and challenges with colleagues, she said. CODE Kids teaches coding to children ages 10-14 in libraries in small and rural communities in Romania, where only 30% of students finish high school. The project grew from 29 clubs in 2017 to 61 clubs this year.”
    ***Note:  Our section used a video created by Claudia with the help of IFLA Staff for her remarks since she was unable to attend WLIC 2018 in person.  She was also standing by online for questions.  The technology worked out perfectly.***
  • Speaker 6: “Mariann Schjeide, president of the Norwegian Library Association, used color-coded data to show the decline in library funding across Norway’s 400 municipalities so that library directors in those areas can communicate effectively with politicians. She also created templates that could be customized with statistics for writing letters to newspapers.”

AMY CARLTON is a senior editor of American Libraries and authored the summaries of our plenary session.  Thanks for covering our session, Amy.

The second programme was sponsored by the now disbanded E-Metrics SIG was comprised of the following content, moderator and speakers.

This session explored the use of e-metrics from new perspectives and with a broader view of their use in the overall library decision making processes. The speakers highlighted new approaches to e-metrics in decision making and demonstrated examples of tool kits and visualization techniques that make metrics more usable and understandable across different audiences. 

Mary-Jo Romaniuk (Canada) moderated the session with  two speakers:

  1. Rebecca Vargha (University of North Carolina, United States) who discussed e-metrics for library collections and budgeting including techniques to help make evidence-based decisions.  There were details on the balancing print and electronic collections especially in terms of budgets and community needs.
  2. Professor and Dean of Libraries, Bella K. Gerlich (Texas Tech, United States) shared her READ scale and strategies for translating data into efficient tools.  She outlined eight principles for sustainability with specific details for each principle.  There were seventy-five people attending the session.

Rebecca Vargha
24 October 2018