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Library Assessment: Assessment Tools and Resources

This Libguide is a place to aggregate information about library assessment activities and best practices

Assessment Data Collection Methods and Tools


Library Research Service, Library User Survey Templates & How-Tos

Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, Questionnaire Design


Focus Groups

University of Washington Libraries, Guide to Moderating Focus Groups

Fern, Edward. Advanced Focus Group ResearchThousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2001.

Oringderff, J. (2004) "My Way:” Piloting an Online Focus Group. 


University of Washington LibrariesUsability

MLibrary: University of Michigan, Usability in the Library

Rubin, Jeffery. (2008) Handbook of usability testing how to plan, design, and conduct effective testsIndianapolis, IN: Wiley Pub.


Kawulich, B.B. (2005, May). Participant observation as a data collection method, Forum: Qualitative Social Research Sozialforschung (6) 2, Art. 43. 

SUMA: A Mobile Space Assessment Toolkit 

Transaction Logs

Negrucci, T. & Link, F. (2012). Positive feedback: Using interlibrary loan transaction log data to inform collection development.  Proceedings of the Charleston Library Conference. 

German, E. & Brett, K. (2013).  Understanding user behavior through transaction logs. University of Houston Libraries.  

Covey, D.T. (2002, January). Usage and usability assessment: Library practices and concerns.  Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources. 


Hurtado, S. & Dey,E.  (2003). Tools for qualitative researchers: Interviews. National Center for Postsecondary Improvement (NCPI), Stanford Institute for Higher Education Research. 

Pfatteicher, S.K.A., Bowcock, D., & Kushner, J. (1998, Summer). Program assessment tool kit: A guide to conducting interviews and surveys. Pilot Edition. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Inqscribe Transcription software

Instruction Assessment

Schilling, Katherine & Rachel Applegate (2012). Best methods for evaluating educational impact: a comparison of the efficacy of commonly used measures of library instructionJournal of Medical Library Association, 100(4):258-269. 

University of Texas. (n.d.). Instructional assessment resources. 

Rubric Builder

Web Analytics

Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group Analytics working group (2015). Best Practices for Google Analytics in Digital Libraries

Fagan, Jody Condit (2014). "The Suitability of Web Analytics Key Performance Indicators in the Academic Library Environment." Journal of Academic Librarianship 40(1): 25-34. 

Oxford Internet Institute. TIDSR: Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources. Revised July 2013.  



Asher, Andrew; Amaral, Jean; Couture, Juliann; Fister, Barbara; Lanclos, Donna; Lowe, M. Sara; Regalado, Mariana; and Smale, Maura A. Mapping Student Days: Collaborative Ethnography and the Student ExperienceCollaborative Librarianship: 2017;9(4): Article 7.

Chen, Hsin-liang; Doty, Philip; Mollman, Carol; Niu, Xi; Yu, Jen-chien; and Zhang, Tao. Library Assessment and Data Analytics in the Big Data Era: Practice and PoliciesProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 2015;52(1): 1-4.

Cun, Aijuan; Abramovich, Samuel; and Smith, Jordan M. An Assessment Matrix for Library Makerspaces. Library & Information Science Research. 2019; 41(1): 39-47.

Farrell, Shannon L. and Mastel, Kristen. Considering Outreach Assessment: Strategies, Sample Scenarios, and a Call to Action. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. 4 May 2016.

Fazal S. Library External Review Process: Conducting Effective Assessment for Self-Study PreparationQualitative and Quantitative Methods in Libraries. 2015;4: 117-131.

Hughes, Michael. Assessing the Collection Through Use Data: An Automated Collection Assessment Tool. Collection Management. 2012;37(2): 110-126.

Kelly, Madeline. Applying the Tiers of Assessment: A Holistic and Systematic Approach to Assessing Library CollectionsJournal of Academic Librarianship. 2014;40(6): 585-591.

Lilburn, Jeff. Ideology and Audit Culture: Standardized Service Quality Surveys in Academic Librariesportal: Libraries and the Academy. 2017;17(1): 91-110.

Little, Geoffrey. Squaring the Circle: Library Technology and AssessmentJournal of Academic Librarianship. 2013;39(6): 596-598.

Mezick, Elizabeth M. Relationship of Library Assessment to Student RetentionJournal of Academic Librarianship. 2015;41(1): 31-36.

Scoulas, JM. Using Assessment Tools to Develop a Workshop for Library Staff: Establishing a Culture of AssessmentEvidence Based Library and Information Practice. 2020;15(2): 150-155.

Shahbazia, Mehri; Farajpahloub, Abdolhossein; Osarehb, Farideh; and Rahimic, Alireza. Development of a Scale for Data Quality Assessment in Automated Library Systems. Library & Information Science Research: 2019; 41(1): 78-84.

Shi, X. A Theory-guided Approach to Library Services Assessment. College & Research Libraries. 2005;66(3): 266-277.

Stewart, Christopher. An overview of ACRLMetrics, part II: Using NCES and IPEDs dataJournal of Academic Librarianship. 2012;38(6): 342-345.

Stewart, Christopher. An overview of ACRL MetricsJournal of Academic Librarianship. 2011;37(1):73-76.

Tyler, David C.; Hitt, Brianna D.; Nterful, Francis A.; and Mettling, McKenna R. The Scholarly Impact of Books Acquired via Approval Plan Selection, Librarian Orders, and Patron-Driven Acquisitions as Measured by Citation Counts. College & Research Libraries. 2019;80(4): 525-560.

Young, Scott; Swedman; and Kyrillidou, Martha. Meta-Assessment: The ARL Library Assessment Ecosystem Modified for Montana State University. Preprint at 10.31229/ 2019.

Zucca, Joe. Business Intelligence Infrastructure for Academic LibrariesEvidence Based Library and Information Practice. 2013;8(2): 172-182.

Data Analysis Methods and Tools

Statistical analysis

​SPSS predictive analytics software is a tool designed to help researchers organize and understand quantitative data, including advanced analytics. 

Thompson, Bruce. Foundations of Behavioral Statistics – An Insight-  Based ApproachNew York: Guilford Press, 2006.

Qualitative analysis

Wolcott, Harry. Transforming Qualitative Data: Description, Analysis, and Interpretation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1994.

Saldana, J. "An Introduction to Codes and Coding" In The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 2009. 

Morae: Morae is usability software that enables the researcher to capture user interactions with a computer, including eye-tracking and mouse clicks.