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Stephen Town
Honorary Fellow



Stephen Town was Director of Information & University Librarian at the University of York between 2007 and 2015, and thereafter completed his PhD by publications with the  School for Business and Society on the subject of library organizational value. He became an Honorary Fellow in the School for Business and Society in 2018.

Stephen has led Library and IT services in Universities for over thirty years, provided international consultancy and advice in more than twenty countries, and has extensive experience of projects and contracts for research, development, e-learning, and educational services for government, industry, prestigious foundations and charitable trusts. Stephen has delivered invited keynotes, presentations, strategy retreats, leadership courses, workshops and advice to organizations including individual universities and higher education consortia.

Stephen currently teaches performance, quality and finance in the University of Sheffield Information School.



Stephen has contributed over sixty publications to the academic and professional literature in the fields of leadership, strategy, performance, and quality.

He was convenor and chair of the Board of the Northumbria Conferences on Library Performance Measurement, serves on the Editorial Board of Performance Measurement and Metrics, and was chair of the SCONUL Performance Improvement committee, for whom he led initiatives on benchmarking, information literacy assessment, and value and impact measurement.

Stephen has a long history of collaboration with North American colleagues through membership of the LibQUAL+ Steering Committee, ClimateQUAL, and the Library Assessment Conference, from whom he received the Library Assessment Career Achievement Award. His “seminal influence” on professional thinking and practice is described in Corrall’s review of his published work in 2016.

His current research projects include organizational and leadership virtue, a history of working lives in Yorkshire educational institutions, and a collaborative autoethnographic study of health services.


Selected publications

Stephen Town (2018), "The Value Scorecard", Information and Learning Science, Vol. 119 Issue 1/2, pp. 25-38.

J. Stephen Town (2018), “Projects, Programmes, Strategy and Leadership in the Research Library”, in Alice Daugherty, Samantha Schmehl Hines (eds.) Project Management in the Library Workplace (Advances in Library Administration and Organization, Volume 38), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 295 – 311.

Stephen Town (2017), “ClimateQUAL in the UK: applying the protocol in a different culture”, in Charles B. Lowry (ed.) ClimateQUAL: advancing organizational health, leadership and diversity in the service of libraries, Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 155-178.

Stephen Town (2016), “LibQUAL+: a quality survey case study”, in Atkinson, J. (ed.), Quality and the Academic Library, Chandos, pp. 209-220.

J. Stephen Town (2015), “Evidence based organizational change: a seven year case study”, Library Management, Vol. 37 Issue 8/9, pp. 623-643.

Stephen Town (2011), “The Value of Libraries: the relationship between change, evaluation and role” in Baker, D. & Evans, W. (eds.) Libraries and society: role, social responsibility and future challenges, Chandos, pp. 303 – 325.

Photo of Stephen Town

School for Business and Society
University of York
Church Lane Building
York Science Park
York YO10 5DF