Serving Multiple Stakeholders: Crafting a “blended” scorecard at the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Purpose: Since its introduction in the early 1990s, the Balanced Scorecard has been widely used in the corporate world as a means of assessing overall organizational health. In recent years, the Balanced Scorecard has been successfully adopted by non-profits, including large academic and public library systems. Health sciences and other special libraries also stand to benefit from the use of a Balanced Scorecard. However, they often work under complex organizational structures that involve administrative-level reporting to multiple and diverse stakeholders. As such, the standard four perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard may not serve to adequately tell the library’s story. The Health Sciences Libraries (HSL) at the University of Minnesota has been working to develop and implement a “blended” scorecard that will provide meaningful measures of success for its multiple stakeholders.
Design/Methodology/Approach: In 2006, the HSL formed a Metrics that Matter team that was charged to develop new ways of measuring library activities to express outcomes and impacts in ways meaningful to its funders and constituents. The team’s final report recommended that the HSL use a modified form of the Balanced Scorecard based on Cogdill, et. al.’s The Value of Library and Information Services in Hospitals and Academic Health Sciences Centers report to the Medical Library Association. In 2009, the HSL developed a blended scorecard that customized the standard four balanced scorecard perspectives by incorporating language from the strategic goals of the University Libraries and the Academic Health Center, its two major stakeholders.
Findings: The HSL is in the early adoption phase of using their blended scorecard approach to measuring overall organizational health. In January 2009, the language of the blended scorecard was developed, approved by HSL managers, and presented to library personnel. Additional work was done to incorporate annual goals and strategic planning into the matrix and identify relevant measures and targets for each perspective. Pilot testing of the blended scorecard will be continued with the HSL 2010-2011 goal setting. The authors will present the lessons learned through this experience by outlining the steps taken to 1) develop a blended scorecard, 2) seek staff buy-in and organizational support, 3) implement pilot testing, and 4) adjust the blended scorecard based on findings.
Practical Implications/Value: The HSL plans to use the blended scorecard to discover the extent to which its organizational goals have been met. Results will be used internally to set future goals and initiatives and externally to communicate successes and areas for improvement to its primary stakeholders. When used annually, the HSL hopes to have a set of comparison metrics that can be analyzed to determine success over time.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2010 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment, October 24-27, 2010, Baltimore, MD
EditorsSteve Hiller, Kristina Justh, Martha Kyrillidou, Jim Self
Place of PublicationWashington, D.C.
PublisherAssociation of Research Libraries
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)13-978-1594078651
StatePublished - 2011


  • Balanced Scorecard
  • Library Assessment
  • Metrics
  • Health Sciences Libraries


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