Balanced Scorecard: The Results Please!

2007 ALA Annual Conference Program sponsored by the LLAMA Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation Section, Using Measurement Data for Library Planning, Assessment, and Communication Committee; co-sponsored by LLAMA LOMS Planning & Evaluation of Library Services Committee

Library directors, deans, board members, city council members and other library decision makers: Need to produce data to answer questions such as: How well is the library meeting the needs of our users? Are the library’s finances structured to achieve our mission? What is the value of the library? Have you been frustrated or bewildered by the assessment process you currently have in place? If so, then this ALA program will help you:

  • Understand the value and effectiveness of the Balanced Scorecard through concrete and applicable examples
  • Understand the relevance of the Balanced Scorecard as a library management tool
  • See how Balanced Scorecard results align the library’s goals with its mission and/or the goals of the larger institution (city, university, etc.)

What is the Balanced Scorecard?

In 1992, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton introduced the balanced scorecard (BSC), a concept for measuring a company's activities in terms of its vision and strategies. It gives managers a comprehensive view of the performance of a business. It is a strategic management system that forces managers to focus on the important performance metrics that drive success. It balances a financial perspective with customer, internal process, and learning and growth perspectives. The system consists of these processes:

  • Translating vision and strategy into performance measures
  • Communicating the vision and linking it to individual performance
  • Tracking performance and gauging success
  • Feedback and learning and adjusting the strategy accordingly

The Balanced Scorecard is an effective management tool providing library decision makers with the means to establish organizational objectives, generate data needed to make decisions and demonstrate value, effectiveness, and relevance to staff, customers, administrations, and oversight boards.

Presenters will provide an overview of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) and show how libraries choose the most appropriate set of performance measures. They will describe how to implement the BSC based on library-specific criteria and needs and will provide compelling evidence of how the BSC can document success at your library.

Program Chairs:

  • Tom Diamond (Middleton Library, LSU)
  • Susanna Pathak (Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries)


  • Joe Matthews, Matthews & Associates (Carlsbad, CA)
  • Georgia Lomax, Pierce County Library System (Tacoma WA)
  • James Self, University of Virginia Library
  • Donna Tolson, University of Virginia Library
  • Deborah A. Nolan, Albert S. Cook Library, Towson University (moderator)


Tom Diamond
Louisiana State University
Middleton Library, Reference Dept.
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
(225) 578-6572

Susanna Pathak
Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries
901 Park Ave.
Richmond, VA 23284-2033