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ERIC Number: EJ804650
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun-15
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0363-0277
The New "LJ" Index
Lance, Keith Curry; Lyons, Ray
Library Journal, v133 n11 p38-41 Jun 2008
As published critics of Hennen's American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR), the authors propose a new ranking system that focuses more transparently on ranking libraries based on their performance. These annual rankings are intended to contribute to self-evaluation and peer comparison, prompt questions about the statistics and how to improve them, and provide an advocacy tool for the individual library. Toward these ends, the proposed new system scrutinizes only such statistics that describe library service outputs, such as visits, circulation, public Internet computer usage, and program attendance. It excludes resource inputs, such as staffing levels, collection size, and revenues and expenditures. Inputs, they believe, do not measure library performance. That is why they emphasize outputs, which indicate some of the services people receive from libraries. The time is ripe for an improved ranking system, one that makes the most of the data available while advocating for better data over time. That is the aim of the LJ Index, sponsored by Bibliostat, which will debut later this year following the release of the 2006 federal Public Library Statistics Cooperative (PLSC) data. It is true that both of the authors here have expressed philosophical and methodological reservations about the meaningfulness of such ratings, including the limitations being mentioned. However, they believe that the reasons to offer an alternative rating system outweigh the reasons not to.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A