For each of the universities that the Library has identified as peer competitors we have provided a table indicating relevant inputs and outputs instead of providing bullet points under each of the rubrics of Research/Scholarship, Education, Engagement/Service, and Economic Development.
Four of the five universities are U.S. public universities that are also considered peer/competitors with the university as a whole and the fifth is a Canadian public university. All of these are leaders in providing access to world-class collections and are active in supporting changes in the scholarly communication system. Another competitor that is not a university is Google, which competes with us for the attention and information seeking needs of our students and faculty.
Any major research library is noted by the excellence of its collections, the manner and effectiveness of providing access to those collections, and the other services provided by its staff. This staff includes librarians with subject expertise (often a master’s and increasingly a doctorate in the relevant field), librarians with instructional skills to provide information literacy instruction to students and faculty with a wide range of competence, librarians with technological skills that can be applied to the access challenges, and those with administrative, logistical and other operational skills that can manage the huge collections, electronic access, and the human resource problems that bear directly on service to the users of the library.
It is assumed that the Library is directly relevant to the student learning outcomes that are desired by the teaching departments and to the research outcomes by the faculty. In the past the research outcomes were measured by the number of volumes in the library and the size of the library budget. While these measures correlate with research outcomes and are still relevant, it will be incumbent on the Library in the coming years to more clearly identify those elements that can relate directly to research outcomes. For student learning outcomes, the Library is at somewhat of a handicap since if departments do not describe student learning outcomes for their own students and if the library is not included as a partner in these outcomes the Library will not be in a position to improve the contribution it makes in this area. At the present time there are three indicators that directly relate library instruction to learning outcomes. These are the percentage of courses in a department that receive course integrated information literacy instruction, the percentage of departments with courses receiving course integrated information literacy instruction, and the percentage of Comp I course receiving course integrated information literacy instruction.