The main theme of the 10th Croatian Conference on public libraries, held in September/October 2015, was Evaluation of public library activities. Sessions differed, from those focusing on the measuring of public library performance and libraries’ impact on the community to the development of a standard quality assurance system for library services. Croatian librarians also had an opportunity to attend a lecture by Lotte Hviid Dhyrbye and August Becker on The Economic impact of public libraries in Denmark in November.
It is beyond any doubt that public libraries play an important role in contemporary society, but in order to maintain their social position stable it is necessary that they keep conducting systematic surveys, collect data on library performance and the impact that they have on both individuals and communities and regularly present all the results of such monitoring procedures to policy- and decision-makers, who, based on their insight into all these statistics and indicators, may make sure that libraries are provided with sufficient financial resources.
Do you know of any other studies on the impact of public libraries? How do public libraries in your country measure their impact and do they present their results to wider public? Can you see any changes afterwards?