Show off your value: How to prove your library's worth

Demonstrating your worth is more important than ever. We know that librarians bring value to their organizations but how can we prove it to managers and other stakeholders?

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This guide aims to:

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More about the guide

We have seen upheaval like never before and the very nature of change has changed - we saw the closure of offices and workplaces, and the blurring of home and work boundaries. But even prior to the global pandemic, times were changing. The library and information landscape was moving away from hardcopy and becoming more reliant on a variety of technology solutions. 

Even as the world turned upside down, there are reassuring constants. People have realised library and information services play an integral part, not only in rebuilding and healing communities, but also reinvigorating and restarting the economy. Library and information professionals must communicate with end-users, promote themselves, and above all, they must demonstrate their value to the organization - and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are library and information professionals essential to an organization?

Library and information professionals are one of the greatest assets to an organisation. Without information people an organization wouldn’t be able to: 

  • Navigate the growing information maze 
  • Find the truth in a world of fake news and illegitimate publishers
  • Search for what’s really relevant 
  • Find information that sets you apart from your competitors 
  • Curate information into a digestible actionable package
How do we communicate the value of the library and information service?

Explain what the library service can do in terms of an individual’s goals. Explaining to a colleague what you do each day is never going to communicate your value - you need to avoid confusion and jargon. Instead, your focus should be on how you help that particular person achieve their goals and use a language they understand. Speaking the language of your colleague, and showing how you are directly helping them, is exactly how to get them to sit up and pay attention to what you are saying.

What should library and information people include in reports to really catch people’s attention?

Case studies - The best marketing is done through word-of-mouth recommendation. Case studies demonstrate to all kinds of end-users that your service delivers real results for people just like them. It's an excellent way of gaining feedback from your users, as well as creating some valuable allies and advocates for your service.

Statistics and figures - A more quantitative approach is required to get the full attention of your management or finance committee. One approach is to calculate your return on investment (ROI) and calculate the financial value of the new business that the library has helped to secure. 

Show off your value: How to prove your library's worth

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