Invisible Labor, Invisible Value: Unpacking Traditional Assessment of Academic Library Value

Rachel Ivy Clarke, Katerina Lynn Stanton, Alexandra Grimm, Bo Zhang


Academic libraries face mounting pressure to demonstrate their value to stakeholders, yet traditional assessments of their financial value ignore the work of librarians and library staff in producing usable collections and services for patrons. Through a survey of US academic library workers, we examine the range, scope, and financial value of labor performed in US academic libraries. Our findings reveal ways in which traditional assessment mechanisms render this labor invisible to stakeholders. We argue that making this labor more visible will help better communicate the value of academic libraries and ignite conversations about reducing workload and stress for library workers.

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Copyright Rachel Ivy Clarke, Katerina Lynn Stanton, Alexandra Grimm, Bo Zhang

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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