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KNOXVILLE — A collaborative project involving information science researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Syracuse University and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has produced an online database for researchers and the general public.

The project, “Value, Outcomes and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries (Lib-Value),” is funded by a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The website is now available at and includes a searchable bibliographic database of library value and return on investment (ROI) literature.

The Lib-Value project is conducting research on value and ROI in academic libraries and developing a set of tested methodologies and tools to help academic librarians measure which products and services provide the most value to the university community and best support the mission and goals of higher education institutions. These tools also will help library leaders demonstrate the value of libraries to university administrators and funders. More resources will be made available via the Lib-Value website during the next two years as the grant activities move forward featuring materials from related workshops, presentations and publications, as well as current news.

The database currently contains more than 400 entries, including books, book chapters, journal articles, theses and dissertations, reports, presentations and free websites covering the expanding literature on library value and evaluation, return on investment in libraries of all kinds, as well as foundational material on methodologies for determining value.

“This is a valuable resource for any professional interested in getting a head start on assessing library value,” said Carol Tenopir, Chancellor’s Professor in UT’s School of Information Sciences (SIS) and the lead investigator on the project. SIS assistant professor Rachel Fleming-May and College of Communication and Information (CCI) graduate student Crystal Sherline compiled the database.

Additional partners in the Lib-Value project include the University of Pittsburgh, Baruch College (CUNY), Brooklyn College (CUNY), SUNY University at Buffalo, SUNY Buffalo State College and Bryant University.

An update on the project’s activities will be presented by Tenopir and Fleming-May of UT and Megan Oakleaf of Syracuse University at the ARL Library Assessment Forum on Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, at the San Diego Convention Center.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 126 research libraries in North America. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the Web at

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has long ranked among the nation’s most distinguished teaching and research institutions. Its diverse, world-class programs reflect the mission of a comprehensive, land-grant university. The largest public university in Illinois, the U of I campus was chartered by the state in 1867 as the Illinois Industrial University and opened its doors to students in 1868. For more information about U of I, please visit

Accredited since 1972, the UT Knoxville School of Information Sciences within the College of Communication and Information has achieved regional, national and international recognition through its award-winning faculty and innovative research. For more information about UT Knoxville, see For more about CCI’s School of Information Sciences, see

C O N T A C T :

Charles Primm, UT Media and Internal Relations (865-974-5180,