Changes in library standards : Statistics and Evaluation as Mirror of Library Innovations

Roswitha Poll


The paper deals with revisions and new topics in ISO standards, following or anticipating changes in the library and information sector. Libraries are introducing new or revised services for which definitions, counting procedures or tools for evaluation are not yet available. ISO 2789: “International Library Statistics” was last published in 2006 (4th version). Since 2010 it is again in revision, due to the rapid changes in the IT world and therewith in the tasks and activities of libraries, such as participating in social platforms or offering services for mobile devices. But changes are not restricted to digital library services. Responding to the growing interest of their communities, libraries have taken up the task of social inclusion, offering special services for individuals and groups that are prevented from participating in key economic, social and political activities in the society in which they live. ISO 11622: “Library performance indicators” follows the lead of the statistics standard in introducing new topics like institutional repositories, digitising or cooperative initiatives. ISO 16439 “Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries” is a new ISO work item, started end of 2010. It was initiated by the changes in the general estimation of a library’s value. Information being apparently free on the web, the benefits gained from library services are questioned, and there is an increasing demand that libraries like other non-profit organisations prove their value and show evidence of a positive influence on individuals and society. The revised or new standards will show how to count and evaluate new library activities and how to meet the new expectations as to evidence of value.

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