The main purpose of the study was to identify the current application and use of key performance indicators (KPIs) in measuring library services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) public libraries. The study seeks to determine the importance of measuring the performance of library services in terms of, 1) methods of data collection, 2) resources spent, 3) current KPI methods employed, 4) use of information resulting from KPI measurement, and 5) the types of participants involved in the KPI measurement process. The population of the study was the federal and local governmental public libraries in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The population of the study included Dubai Public Library, Sharjah Public Library, Abu Dhabi National Library and Ministry of Culture and Community Development Public Libraries. Those public libraries administer the access to information and the provision of library services through thirty (30) service library branches, using (290) Full time employee (FTE) of staff, collection exceeds six (6) million items and around six hundred thousand visit FY 2012. All libraries of the population of the study provide electronic library services. The study was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire distributed to Library Directors yielded a 100% response rate. Respondents recorded current application of KPIs practices, estimated resources expended to conduct KPIs measurement, identified KPIs measurement participants, and challenges facing them in KPIs measurement. The results of the study indicate that 80% of public libraries in the UAE are currently using and applying KPIs in measuring performance of library services, 57% of the UAE public libraries adopted ISO 11620 as a reference to their KPIs application. Finally, the study results indicated the common reasons for the application of performance indicators were to identify areas of strengths/weaknesses, to improve performance and to increase level of users’ satisfaction. Recommendations of the study include: emphasis on adopting best practices, benchmarks, automated performance management systems, ISO11620, and design and conduct of training programs for librarians.


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  • Received: 02 March 2015
  • Accepted: 01 March 2015
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