A somewhat early update this month owing to my being on leave for the next couple of weeks.
There was some very useful feedback from the recent event in the West Midlands:
Merged services – The self-assessment exercise was seen as beneficial for library services which are likely to merge as a result of one of the many proposed mergers of colleges within the FE sector in England. The toolkit would aid two (or more) merging libraries benchmarking themselves against each other.
Strategic planning- the fact the toolkit is written in ‘management speak’ should enable content to be lifted directly from self-assessment using the toolkit into an institutional/developmental plan.
New builds- the toolkit was seen as beneficial to library services involved in new builds ie by helping to plan service development
Converged services- the toolkit was seen as beneficial to library and IT services which had merged or were planning to merge through improving the understanding of what each service contributes to the institution.
Aspirational – the toolkit was seen as something to be aspired too, which will hopefully make services more proactive and help measure the service’s impact on learning.
Inclusive- the toolkit can be used by the whole LRS team but is also relevant to college managers.
Quality systems- the toolkit should complement existing quality systems such as quality (service) standards, service level agreements, SARs and strategic planning.
Issues for future consideration:
Relevance of Quantitative performance indicators
Events needed to promote the toolkit with senior college managers
Support completing the toolkit – this is already being offered by JISC-RSC in the West Midlands, but is also a process where colleges can support each other informally or through the development of a peer review scheme (as is the case in Wales).
Further events on the toolkit include:
CoFHE Mid West ‘Know thyself, market thyself’ 4 February 2009 in Reading (also includes sessions on marketing, policy writing, surveys etc)
and events are also being planned for the south west and London.