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New ISO Technical Report Guides Assessment of National Libraries

New York, May 14, 2009

Preserving and providing materials relevant to a country’s cultural heritage are important responsibilities of a national library. A new Technical Report (TR) from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) guides national libraries in assessing their collections and optimizing their offerings for patrons.

ISO/TR 28118:2009, Information and documentation – Performance indicators for national libraries, provides indicators to analyze the performance of national libraries for their unique tasks and services. Guidelines included address coverage of the national imprint, speed and comprehensiveness of the national bibliography, efforts to preserve the national documentary heritage, and international involvement of the library.

To support the use of the performance indicators provided, the TR includes:

  • standardized terminology and definitions for data to be used in the performance indicators
  • concise descriptions of the performance indicators, and collection and analysis of data
  • examples of where the performance indicators have been used
  • descriptions of types of services or activities that would benefit most from using the individual performance indicators
  • limitations of the performance indicators’ application

This standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 46, Information and documentation, subcommittee (SC) 8, Quality – Statistics and performance evaluation. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to this TC and SC is the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), an ANSI member and accredited standards developer.

In support of standards for libraries and information technology, ANSI will attend the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Conference on June 14-17, 2009, in Washington, DC. ANSI staff will be at Booth #1141 to answer questions about ANSI’s role in standards for information technology and introduce the newest enhancements to ANSI’s websites, such as the recent implementation of RSS feeds. The Institute will also participate in the Standards Update session held during the conference.

For more information on ANSI’s participation at the upcoming SLA Conference, see ANSI’s 2009 Conference and Trade Show Calendar.

For more information on ISO/TR 28118:2009, see the ISO press release.

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