Demonstrating the Return On Investment: The Library’s Role and Contribution


About the Webinar

Assessment practices can be used by libraries to demonstrate to administrators and key decision-makers the return on investment from the services they offer. They can help show that, rather than being a drain on institutional resources, the library is a cost-effective and impactful part of an institution’s educational offering. 

This Roundtable event will focus on how assessment exercises are critical to helping position the library in this way, and on effectively presenting the data generated by the assessment to those passing judgement. The panel will address questions such as: How can you show that library initiatives are aligned with institutional goals? How effectively is the library allocating its space in serving students and faculty? How much is being spent on licensed content, and are those resources being used? 

Librarians and library vendors, administrators, and publishers alike will benefit from a better understanding of how and why to demonstrate the ROI of a library.   

Confirmed speakers for this event, among others, include Karen Schneider, Dean of the Library, Sonoma State, Denise Stephens, Vice Provost and University Librarian, Washington University at St. Louis, Diane Bruxvoort, Dean of Libraries, University of North Texas, Courtney L. Young, University Librarian, Colgate University, and Thomas Wall, University Librarian, Boston College.

Note: In response to the recent circumstances surrounding COVID-19, NISO understand that staff at an increasing number of organizations are now working remotely. During this unique situation, we are allowing registrants to share the sign-on instructions with your colleagues so that they may join the broadcast directly, irrespective of where they are located.

Event Sessions

Questions Addressed By Our Speakers:


Denise Stephens

Vice Provost and University Librarian
Washington University at St. Louis
  1. Just to properly orient the NISO audience, what model has your university adopted in reopening for the fall semester? Face-to-face? Hybrid? Online only? 

  2. In the spring of 2020, institutions were asked to shut down without much notice or planning opportunity. At that point, what changes in services, workflow, and staff roles did you and your staff find it necessary to adopt?

  3. What skills, what expertise did you and your staff find yourselves bringing to the fore?

  4. What kinds of collaborations or partnerships within the institution were you able to build?

  5. Given the additional opportunity for planning to re-open this fall, what were some of the larger institutional needs that you and your staff found yourselves assisting with?

  6. How have these ongoing efforts bolstered perceptions of the library’s value to the institution?

  7. There is recognition that institutional budgets will be constrained in 2021 and beyond. What will you do -- what might others do -- to ensure that the institutional library receives its appropriate allocation of funding?

  8. What types of assessment activities might your library be planning or doing to further bolster your case? What data do you think will be key? Are there new indicators of success? 

Additional Information

  • NOTE: Members of NISO automatically received sign-on credentials for this event as a member benefit. There is no need to register for the recording. Check your institutional membership status here.

  • Registrants will receive detailed instructions about accessing the archived recording within one business day. Due to the widespread use of spam blockers, filters, out of office messages, etc., we ask that you contact the NISO office at if you do not receive these instructions in a timely fashion. This recording access is only to be used by the registrant's organization.

  • Speaker presentation slides are posted to this event webpage following the live broadcast.

For Online Events

  • You will need a computer in order to view the broadcast; audio should feed through your device’s speaker or attached headset.

  • If you have questions or concerns regarding this registration, please contact NISO headquarters via email to We appreciate your interest and hope that you will gain valuable insight from our speakers.