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ISO Publishes New Standard for Assessing the Impact of Libraries

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) recently published a new standard providing guidance on methods for assessing the impact of libraries on individuals, institutions, and society at large. The new standard, ISO 16439:2014, Methods and procedures for assessing the impact of libraries, is intended to assist with libraries' internal quality management activities, as well as related strategic planning.

This International Standard provides terms for use in library impact assessment and sets down methods for carrying out that type of assessment. ISO 16439 will assist users in evaluating a given library in comparison to libraries with a similar setup and similar goals, and promoting the role of libraries in supporting research and other learning, educational work, and cultural endeavors. In addition, the assessment of library impact supported by the standard is expected to help individuals overseeing libraries to make more effective and informed decisions regarding library strategic planning and needed levels of service.

ISO 16439 was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 46, Information and documentation, Subcommittee (SC) 8, Quality - Statistics and performance evaluation. The U.S.'s Steve Hiller, director of assessment and planning, University of Washington Libraries, serves as the chair of SC 8. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and accredited standards developer, serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO TC 46 and SC 8.

ISO 16439 is now available for purchase online at ANSI‘s eStandards Store (eSS). To learn more about ISO and its wide range of standards-related work, visit


Jana Zabinski

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Beth Goodbaum

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