Recommendation 1: If you are part of a network of libraries, share your data gathering methods and tools and try to conform to any community standards. Better to be prepared.
Recommendation 2: Be sure to participate in any benchmarking surveys that your library has been invited to complete. This will benefit the whole community.
Recommendation 3: Use benchmarking reports to be in control and know the landscape when managing and promoting your services. Don't assume that your senior management is unaware of what is happening at other health libraries!
This section identifies resources about benchmarking and its importance in generating data to compare your services with other libraries. The emphasis is on comparative benchmarking.
What is Benchmarking?
To quote from the introduction to the CHLA - ABSC Benchmarking Toolkit from 1998:
"...we can learn from observing the way others do things and these observations can, in turn, offer opportunities for adopting the best practices we find. By comparing our libraries with other libraries in a bench marking partnership, opportunities for doing things differently become evident."
Benchmarking is valuable for smaller health libraries with limited resources as it provides comparable data to present to administrators.
See the HSICT Levels of Health Library Services at the bottom of this page.
Use the HSICT Levels of Library Service simplified poster below as a guide for benchmarking your service. This is a guideline to see where your service might fit. Libraries are unique & may not exactly fit one level. Mandate, budget & human resources will affect the delivery of bronze, silver or gold services. Check out the Top Documents for an excel format of this list!