Performance Audit in University Libraries

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According to A. N. Whitehead, ‘Universities are schools of education and schools of research’. They preserve the connection between knowledge and the zest of life uniting the young and old in the imaginative consideration of learning.

The missions of the university libraries are to make its resources available and useful to the academic community and sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity of future generations. It has to be done with economically, efficiently and effectively.

After analysis of different sources, it is found that the Oklahoma Department of Libraries first applied performance audit in the world during the period March 24, 1977, to May 10, 1977. performence measurement

The purpose of this audit is to study the management, operations, programs, and fiscal needs of the library. But beginning in the 21s` century, public library, special library, national library and academic library across the world have been started to apply the performance audit to assess fund utilization, workflow, material flow, work process and staffing allocations for in order to identify potentials economy, efficiency and effectiveness. In India, application of performance audit in libraries and information centers is broadly discussed by the XXIV National Seminar of the IASLIC (Special Interest Group 02, Social Sciences) in the 18-21 December 2010, organized by Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University, held at Gorakhpur (UP).

The university library has a valuable role in higher education as well as research activities. Like other public service institutions or those financed from public funds, university libraries have come under increasing pressure to demonstrate results and outcomes of their activities and to justify the use of resources allocated to them. Nowadays, it is difficult for university libraries to manage and proper utilization of library resources due to the financial crisis. It is also difficult that library finance is properly utilized according to budget allocation. Some libraries have adequate budget allocation whether it is utilizing properly. So it is a challenge to library manager proper utilization of finance as well as resources of the library. The main purpose of the library is to give the right user to provide the right information at the right time.

Administrative and budget reforms in the public sector have affected the university libraries, particularly as they come under the purview of the fund of the government, and thus are subject to closer scrutiny and monitoring through various budgetary and audit procedures.

In this situation, libraries and information centers in different categories have been started to apply performance audit standard and methodologies for functioning the administration, reader service, technical service, and circulation service as well as web-enabled services to the patrons.

The application of performance audit in university libraries will help to review and evaluate current library operations, compare current library operations, staffing and budget with similar university libraries, assist in developing performance and outcome measurement for the library and provide an assessment of how efficiently the library is running with available resources.

In this situation the performance audit is needed to an institution such as libraries and information centers due to the following reason:

1. To assess utilization of fund in a proper way to achieve economically predetermined objectives and goals of the university libraries.

2. To measure workflow, materials flow, work process and staffing allocations for in order to identify potential efficiencies & effectiveness of university library systems;

3. To audit how efficiently ICT related operations in university libraries have achieved.

4. To assess the academic community is satisfied with the overall library performance.


Original Reference Article:

  • Khan, B. (n.d.). PERFORMANCE AUDIT OF SOME SELECTED UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES IN WEST BENGAL A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATION.

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