© 2015 by Athenaeum21

February 19, 2018

Athenaeum21 is pleased to announce the publication of the article  "Contextualizing library assessment within a broader ecosystem: Proposed models for linking the strategic to the micro" in the most recent issue of Performance Measurement and Metrics. The article is based on the presentation of the same name at the 2017 International Conference on Performance Management in Libraries in Oxford, UK. Between 2015 and 2017, Athenaeum21 co-founders Christine Madsen and Megan Hurst conducted 96 interviews with research library directors and leaders, library assessment practitioners, and academic experts on four continents about library assessment and its current state in their institutions. The research was funded by the Association of Research Libraries and the Mellon Foundation. A portion of the research was conducted in collaboration with University of California, Davis; University of Oxford; and University of Goettingen.

The article shares "the lessons l...

December 12, 2016

Athenaeum21 is pleased to announce the public release of “Library Assessment Toolkit & Dashboard Scoping Research Final Report and Path Forward." The report is the culmination of a six-month research project in collaboration with the University Library of the University of California, Davis; the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford; and the Staats und Universitätsbibliothek, Göttingen, Germany. The research project examined  how libraries currently assess their resources and services, and areas of opportunity to streamline and visualize library performance through a common and customizable set of key performance indicators (KPIs) and dashboard modules.

The research team interviewed library assessment leaders and practitioners across diverse institutions and geographies, and reviewed the current landscape of technology, tools, and services addressing their needs.

The report concludes that "the majority of library managers approach assessment an...

December 6, 2016

Athenaeum21's Dr Christine Madsen presented "The Future of Finding at the University of Oxford" at December's Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) meeting in Washington, DC, along with Catriona Cannon, Deputy Librarian & Keeper of Collections at the Bodleian Libraries, of the University of Oxford.

Dr Madsen works at the intersection of cultural heritage and technology and is expert in building large-scale systems that use technology to connect researchers, teachers, and students with library and learning resources. She is co-founder and principal of Athenaeum21 Consulting, where she works with libraries and museums around the world on digital strategy and innovation.

Good resource discovery tools are not simply about making research easier and faster, but about facilitating the creation, preservation and discovery of knowledge by enabling new modes of research, especially across disciplines. In 2014 the University of Oxford began a program of activ...

November 2, 2016

Athenaeum21's Megan Hurst presented "All Your Data Displayed in One Place: Scoping Research for a Library Assessment Dashboard & Toolkit" at the Association of Research Libraries' Library Assessment Conference in Washington, DC, along with Frankie Wilson, Head of Assessment at the Bodleian Libraries, of the University of Oxford.

In January 2016, Athenaeum21 was engaged to lead a multi-institutional, international research and scoping study to define the nature and feasibility of a library assessment executive dashboard and toolkit to enable libraries to centralize diverse collection, usage, administrative, and financial data, and to more easily visualize, analyze, and utilize the data. The study investigated the need and high-level requirements for a toolkit to enable library administrators to utilize commonly shared performance indicators and formulas to create their own dashboards, and the ability to customize indicators and formulas as needed. The i...

December 14, 2015

Athenaeum21 is pleased to announce the public release of “Resource Discovery @ The University of Oxford”. The report is the culmination of a one-year multi-strand research project, and examines  how users of the museums and libraries at the University of Oxford find the information they need (known as “resource discovery”), current practices among other institutions, and trends and possibilities for resource discovery in the future.


Athenaeum21 led the end-user research and needs assessment portion of the project, and then led the synthesis and analysis  of the data across all of the research strands, making the recommendations and writing the final report. The report defines the resource discovery strategy for the University for the next 5 years.


"The report defines the resource discovery strategy for the University for the next 5 years."


For those outside of Oxford, we can share a bit of context: The University of Oxford has a lot...

The User Studies Working Group, one of four working groups in the DLF Assessment Interest Group (AIG), has released the white paper “Surveying the Landscape: Use and Usability Assessment of Digital Libraries.”


Megan Hurst, of Athenaeum21, served on the Review Team for the white paper. The research project and writing of the white paper spanned over a year, and was carried out by a team from US research libraries and supporting organizations.


“Surveying the Landscape” identifies the strengths and gaps in the current literature on three topics related to use and usability of digital libraries:


Making usability studies more accessible to librarians (“usability studies”)


Tracking the return on investment (ROI) for digital libraries (“return on investment”)


Developing a better understanding of the reuse of digital library materials (“content reuse”)


Building on this white paper, the User Studies Working Group will begin work on two new projects in 2016. N...

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