Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Assessing the Effectiveness and Quality of Libraries

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posted on 2021-11-09, 19:49 authored by Calvert, Philip James

A variety of library evaluation methods have been developed, yet few have attempted to evaluate the evaluation methods. This thesis is a meta-evaluation: an evaluation of other evaluations. The merits of different evaluation are analysed. Then the relationships between the different types of evaluation are identified, and a meta-model of library evaluation created. The Research Question posed in this thesis is "What are the most useful types of library evaluation, and how are they related to each other?" A four cell model has been developed. The two axes were chosen based upon systems theory. The y axis (vertical) uses two perspectives: an internal view (from the library) and an external view (the customers). The x axis (horizontal) is about the topic: the library itself; its collection, processes, costs, and the customer' use of its products and services. Four types of library evaluation are each placed in one cell of the matrix. Early chapters examine library effectiveness based upon four models of organisational effectiveness. A two stage project that investigated New Zealand public library effectiveness is described. First, stakeholders said what the best statements for evaluating public library effectiveness were. Second, library staff said how well their library was performing on each of the key statements. This data was subjected to a factor analysis to create clusters of statements that are the 'imensions'of library effectiveness. Then two chapters describe a similar project conducted in university libraries. Later chapters describe research into library service quality based upon the SERVQUAL model. It used the Hernon-Altman method rather than the LibQUAL+ approach. The intention of the research was to understand the concept of service quality for academic libraries and then create an instrument to measure library service quality. Subsequent research adapted the instrument for use with electronic services provided by libraries.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Information Systems

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Hernon, Peter; Hope, Beverley