8 Pages

The mdden Agenda in the Measurement and Evaluation of Reference Service,

Or, How to Make a Case for Yourself

Reference librarians often complain of their clients' tendency to "hide" the real point of their inquiries, perhaps even from themselves. When it comes to the question of the measurement and evaluation of reference service, my experience has been that practicing reference librarians are themselves guilty of a similar kind of evasiveness or self-deception. Reference librarians may talk and write a good deal about their need for better means of measuring and evaluating the services they provide, but my belief is that what they really want is guidance in-better still, recipes for-justifying their work and their contribution. They don't like to say so in public or in print, but when reference librarians talk with me in private I get the definite impression that they now feel their department's position to be threatened. They are anxious to find ways of making a stronger case for themselves.