May 21, 2022

New Article From EDUCAUSE Review Online: “Discovering the Impact of Library Use and Student Performance”

The following article is new from EDUCAUSE Review Online.


Discovering the Impact of Library Use and Student Performance


Brian Cox
Manager Quality and Marketing, University of Wollongong Library
Margie Jantti
University Librarian, University of Wollongong Library



Key Takeaways

  • Without a valid, reliable way to collect data from various library and enterprise systems, it’s difficult to quantitatively assert how a library adds value.
  • The University of Wollongong Library developed the Library Cube, a tailored database and reporting function that joins library usage data with student data, including demographic and academic performance information.
  • Analysis of the resulting data reveals a strong correlation between students’ grades and use of information resources the library provides.

By providing access to information resources, academic libraries play a significant role in the student experience. To date, efforts to assess the impact of accessing library-owned or subscribed content have largely focused on satisfaction surveys, feedback, and “return on investment” projects such as contingent valuation. Although surveys and feedback systems provide data and information on a range of service elements, they are limited in their capacity to provide information and insight into the perceived value gained by engaging with the library — that is, on a client’s return on effort for using library services and resources. They are also unable to identify non-users effectively. Faculty awareness and knowledge of student use of library information resources is equally limited.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.