Defining Excellence is not an easy task. Excellence will be measured differently from library to library. However the EBSM methodology presents a framework that starts to bring an element of standardization to the measurement of Excellence in collection performance terms. Since EBSM is based around target setting, a distinction can be made between what might and might not be achievable for a library system committed to improvement.
The EBSM methodology suggests a set of default targets against all of the EBSM KPIs – these are targets that most libraries will be able to achieve with hard work and determination.
A Utopia view of these targets would be vastly different – in Utopia terms there would be no Grubby or Dead items on shelves, and all books from all popular authors would always be available for a patron when they visit a library.
Somewhere in between these two views lies Excellence, and the target setting framework that underpins the EBSM methodology enables librarians to adopt stretch targets (and associated parameters) during this Phase that will help it to progress towards, and achieve, Excellence in collection performance terms.
It is outwith the scope of this guide to suggest what these targets and parameters might look like, but further advice on this subject can be found via some of the available EBSM training courses.
EBSM also suggests that Excellence is unlikely to be achieved unless all of the EBSM Tools are adopted. These Tools all add value in their own way, and they add value cumulatively. Whereas during earlier EBSM Phases library staff may have chosen to improve performance by using just some of the Tools, the methodology suggests that this approach cannot be taken when seeking Excellence. Configuration of a schedule that will help the library collection progress towards excellence is discussed in more detail here.
Finally, and most importantly of all, the customer should not be forgotten. The Voice of the Customer (VOC) is the single most important measurement that can be made over whether Excellence is being approached or achieved. There are many resources which describe how the VOC can be captured and measured, and this is outwith the scope of this guide.