About the Conference

Welcoming delegates to the 13th Conference
Conference Board chair Frankie Wilson welcoming delegates to the 13th Conference, in Aberystwyth, Wales (2019).

LibPMC seeks to bring together practitioners, researchers, educators and students interested in all aspects of performance and measurement in library and information services.

The goal of library performance measurement and assessment is to understand how well a library is meeting stakeholder needs, with the aim of driving improvement. Key features of library performance measurement include a focus on the needs of stakeholders and communities, actively using qualitative and quantitative data to improve services and the user experience, and communicating the results and outcomes of assessment activities. 

Past conferences have provided a mix of invited speakers, contributed papers and workshops designed to stimulate discussion, provide ideas for measuring and improving library performance, and develop new concepts and techniques to advance the field. The conference is the longest-running conference on this subject and is truly international, welcoming participants from all countries. 

History of the Conference

In 1995, members of the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) Advisory Committee on Performance Indicators, supported by the British Library Research & Development Department and Northumbria University, established a biennial conference. The ‘Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement and Metrics in Library and Information Services’ (commonly known as ‘Northumbria’) attempted to present a new framework for library measurement. With practitioners and researchers presenting the results of the application of scientific research methodologies to management questions arising from real world library contexts, and keynotes focusing on strategic, political and advocacy questions, Northumbria sought to critique ideas and forms of measurement itself as well as its substance.

Over the last number of years this biennial conference has been held in the USA, South Africa and Italy, although the predominant host of this English language conference has been the UK. It attracts presenters and attendees from around the world, particularly the UK, Europe, North America and Australia. Now known by the somewhat shorter title of ‘International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries’ (or ‘LibPMC’), the conference remains the “invisible college” that connects together those in the field – a field generally referred to because of this link as ‘Library Performance Measurement.’

The International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries has a strong collaborative relationship with the US based Library Assessment Conference. Since 2006, the two sister conferences have made the commitment to organize their events in alternate years.