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Assessing Library Performance Using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: Role Model Practices



Mary D. Coraggio, Barbara P. Silcox, Susan L. Makar, Mylene S. Ouimette


Best practices for assessment suggest that data routinely gathered from a variety of sources and viewed holistically should provide meaningful evidence for ongoing and data-driven decision making, strategic planning, and achieving organizational excellence. The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are a tool used by thousands of U.S. organizations to provide this holistic view for measuring and improving performance. The criteria provide a framework of requirements and results in key categories of leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; and process management. Within this framework, any organization can structure its path for organizational learning, continuous improvement, and sustainable performance excellence. The Information Services Division (ISD) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) began its Baldrige journey in 1997; ten years later it was awarded the Maryland Silver Quality Award by the Maryland Performance Excellence Award (MPEA) Program. Along the way, ISD transformed into an organization in which systematic evaluation and assessment backed by analysis and knowledge sharing are embedded and evident throughout the organization. This poster describes several systematic approaches identified as “role model” practices by the MPEA Examiners, which can be adapted and used by other organizations. It addresses how these approaches strengthened ISD’s ability to respond quickly to changing technologies and customer expectations and requirements. It also discusses how ISD has sustained an ongoing culture of assessment through the alignment of employee annual performance and professional development plans with ISD’s strategic and operational plans, building a depth of commitment to excellence and leadership. Finally, it addresses ISD’s current assessment activities, including developing methodologies for measuring impact.


Library Performance Assessment, Baldrige Criteria, Organizational Performance Measures
Created October 25, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017