- A new relationship with Office of Student Life is likely to see the benefit in many services, such as 24/7 hours, off campus access, and student programs. However, if you spend 20 minutes of your meeting discussing an institutional repository, it is unlikely that they will find your services to be a priority.
- University Marketing may send out an email to department heads asking for instances where the university is making a global impact for a new campaign they are running. They may be very interested in the impact the institutional repository is making, but they are not likely to want a lecture on open access publishing, publishers rights, or any of the other benefits likely to stem from an IR initiative.
- Faculty applying for government grants that mandate the final results be published in an open-access journal may be overwhelmed by the thought of finding such a journal, that can seem non-traditional or difficult to people unfamiliar with that terminology. Marketing this service to those applicants through the Office of Research Services, IRB or publishing workshops as a repository for these types of grant sponsored material will make you an instant asset.
The first important benchmark measurement is time; are you looking for a short term, long term, or perpetual partner? Understanding the timeline of a partnership is likely to strengthen participation. Here are examples of some different relationship commitments:
- Last year our library and art museum teamed up to display the work of Edward Gorey; we had just received a large donation of his works. We had many short-term partners and their participation hinged on the length of the relationship. Corporate sponsors needed to know how long their brand ambassadors would be working on the projects, what costs would be associated, and what kind of benefits they would gain from this sponsorship.
- The Tutoring Center and the Library are two different departments on campus, but at one of our campus locations, the tutoring center offices are located inside the library. We have a long term partnership to allow guest access to tutoring center visitors, space for programming, and referral services. However, some day the tutoring center will likely move into a new space - so the nature of this relationship will change. It's important to understand that this is not a permanent or perpetual relationship, because our services have to remain distinctly separate so when the tutoring center eventually moves, our services can continue uninterrupted.
- All of our reference and instruction librarians on campus are subject specialists, and have perpetual partnerships with their departments. It is important for faculty to understand that even if there is librarian change-over, the services will live in perpetuity. It's not a service from the personal librarian, it's from the University Libraries.
Another important metric will come into play in the opposite scenario of the one stated above. What if you live in a world where you've been given the opportunity to expand in either space or staff? How are you going to decide where the new position is created? How will you dedicated space? By tracking which relationships are growing in time spent, demands, or programs it will be easier to understand how to allocate your resources.
Lastly, metrics are great for continuing relationships. If you have a partnership with a department and there has been staff change over, consolidation, or other changes - it is easy to go to the new department head and recall what you have done for that department, where you were headed next, and why your partnership is worth maintaining. With any luck, word will spread about your successful achievements and you'll develop new partnerships through word of mouth.
There are many other metrics you could track - these are just some examples about why it is important. Be sure to report these statistics or measurements to your partners, administrators, and donors to ensure you're communicating your hard work.