Skip to main content

Metrics: What Additional Metrics Are Needed? (Part Two)



Usage metrics are both useful and controversial — a complicated arena of exploration. New technologies and policies lead to new behaviors and practices. How much should libraries rely on usage to justify their continued investment in a publication, database, or platform?  What sorts of metrics do publishers use, and how? How well do our existing definitions and tools work in an increasingly open access world? Are there opportunities for libraries and publishers to work together on new and more equitable metrics? In our increasingly data-driven world, this two-part webinar will enable a much-needed deeper discussion of these and other important questions for all stakeholders in the information community.

Confirmed speakers include Sherine Eid, Acting Head of Quality Improvement Unit, Library Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA); Sebastian Hammer, Co-founder and President, Index Data; and Dr. Roswitha Poll, Chair of the International LIbrary Statistics Working Group, ISO TC 46 SC 8 Quality - Statistics and Performance Evaluation, retired Chief Librarian, Muenster University Library.

A special thanks to Beth German, Assistant Director Library Assessment and User Experience, at Princeton University, and member of the NISO Education Committee for working closely with us in the planning of this program!

Event Sessions


Sherine Eid

Acting Head of Quality Improvement Unit
Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA)

Roswitha Poll

Chair and Retired Chief Librarian
International Library Statistics Working Group, ISO TC 46 SC 8 Quality - Statistics and Performance Evaluation, and Muenster University Library

The discussion by participants was based on the following questions:

Open and Context 

  1. What types of decisions are you able to make now versus what metrics do you wish you had in order to make decisions?
  2. The session leans towards collection and collection usage based metrics, what else is important for consideration? 

Hot topics 

  1. Collaborative collection development requires joint-decision making, What kind of metrics/data will help collective collection-building vs. individual collection-building?
  2. How do you balance data collection and user privacy? 
  3. How does user experience influence metrics and the type of metric needed? 
  4. As formats change and develop, what’s the role and limitations of standards in developing and implementing new metrics? 
  5. How are data collection tools changing in order to meet new formats, data standards, and diverse sets of data points? 

Real-life stories/examples 

  1. What’s most exciting to you in the world of library metrics? 
  2. What’s a good example of when you were able to use metrics to make a decision? What other metrics do you wish you had for decision making?  

Getting to Impact and Value  

  1. How can this data (outputs and usage) demonstrate impact and outcomes measures? What else is needed?
  2. What’s something someone in the audience could do that would help make their metrics more meaningful?

Related Information and Shared Resources:

ISO 11620:2023: Information and documentation — Library performance indicators - This document specifies the requirements of a performance indicator for libraries and establishes a set of indicators to be used by libraries of all types. It also provides guidance on how to implement performance indicators in libraries where such indicators are not already in use.

Leo Appleton, Libraries and Key Performance Indicators: A Framework for Practitioners - Libraries and Key Performance Indicators: A Framework for Practitioners explores ways by which libraries across all sectors can demonstrate their value and impact to stakeholders through quality assurance and performance measurement platforms, including library assessment, evaluation methodologies, surveys, and annual reporting

Arab Reading Challenge - Launched by UAE Vice President and Prime Minister of the and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to encourage students to read, ARC challenges students to read as many books as possible (over 50) in one academic year.

Bibliotecha Alexandrina Easy Reading: Developing a New Approach to Literacy at the BA - As part of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina scientific and cultural events, and its role in promoting the national plans of development and the general trends of the Egyptian state that grant priority to education, the BA is organizing a seven-month literacy experimental course titled “A Book and a Screen”, starting January 2022.

Easy Reading at Bibliotheca Alexandrina القراءة السهلة في مكتبة الإسكندرية - Facebook Page

Benchmark: Library Metrics and TrendsBenchmark: Library Metrics and Trends, is the newest tool for data-driven planning and advocacy in public libraries. Launched in October 2021, it provides libraries with data visualizations that allow them to compare their inputs and outputs to peer and nationwide data.

Sheikh Mohammed hails record-breaking Arab Reading Challenge - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, says the UAE's annual Arab Reading Challenge has become the largest such event in the world.

The Case for NRENsNRENs are essential in providing advan​ced ICT services to the research and education communities. Whilst they are well es​tablished i​​n Europe, countries in other parts of the world face diffic​ult challen​ges persuading stakeholders​​ of the inherent value in oper​atin​​​g an NREN. There is no one-size-fits-all model for a successful NREN, however, many share similar challenges and can benefit f​​rom being part of a learning and sharing community. This portal provides materials to assist NRENs, particularly novice ones, find the information, messages and tools to demonstrate their role ​​​and value, and progress towards sustainability.​​​

National Research and Education Network by Country/Region - A national research and education network (NREN) is a specialised internet service provider dedicated to supporting the needs of the research and education communities within a country. It is usually distinguished by support for a high-speed backbone network, often offering dedicated channels for individual research projects.

ISO 16439:2014: Information and documentation — Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries - ISO 16439:2014 defines terms for impact assessment of libraries and specifies methods for such assessment: for the purpose of strategic planning and internal quality management of libraries; to facilitate comparison of library impact over time and between libraries of similar type and mission; to promote the libraries' role and value for learning and research, education and culture, social and economic life; to support political decisions on levels of service and strategic goals for libraries.

Measuring Quality: Performance Measurement in Libraries 2nd revised edition - The first edition of this handbook appeared in 1996 and dealt with academic libraries. It gained wide acceptance and was translated into five other languages. After ten years, this new edition widens the perspective to include public libraries and adds indicators for electronic services and cost-effectiveness. It offers a set of 40 such indicators and provides practical help by describing sampling and surveying procedures and by giving examples for each indicator.

Collaborative Collections Lifecycle Project - The partnership is led by National Information Standards Organization (NISO), Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration & Innovation (PALCI), and Lehigh University Libraries. The infrastructure will create a suite of best practices, improved standards, and middleware for the development and management of collective collections and will support varied implementation models, data interoperability, and sharing of expertise across a range of institutions and consortia. This project builds greater community collaboration in smart collection management and promotes access to collections by improving institutional efficiency through partnership.

Additional Information

NISO assumes organizations register as a group. The model assumes that an unlimited number of staff will be watching the live broadcast in a single location, but also includes access to an archived recording of the event for those who may have timing conflicts. 

Registrants receive sign-on instructions via email on the Friday prior to the virtual event. If you have not received your instructions by the day before an event, please contact NISO headquarters for assistance via email ( 

Registrants for an event may cancel participation and receive a refund (less $35.00) if the notice of cancellation is received at NISO HQ ( one full week prior to the event date. If received less than 7 days before, no refund will be provided. 

Links to the archived recording of the broadcast are distributed to registrants 24-48 hours following the close of the live event. Access to that recording is intended for internal use of fellow staff at the registrant’s organization or institution. Speaker presentations are posted to the NISO event page.

Broadcast Platform

NISO uses the Zoom platform for purposes of broadcasting our live events. Zoom provides apps for a variety of computing devices (tablets, laptops, etc.) To view the broadcast, you will need a device that supports the Zoom app. Attendees may also choose to listen just to audio on their phones. Sign-on credentials include the necessary dial-in numbers, if that is your preference. Once notified of their availability, recordings may be downloaded from the Zoom platform to your machine for local viewing.