ARL, ACRL, ALA Form Joint Advisory Task Force to Clarify Academic Library Definitions in IPEDS Survey

ACRL and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have formed a joint advisory task force to suggest changes to the current definitions and instructions accompanying the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Academic Libraries Component for FY 2015. The ARL/ACRL task force will work to provide formal recommendations to IPEDS by early July 2015. The task force will offer virtual opportunities to engage and inform the larger community of this work.

Since October 2014 the IPEDS Academic Libraries Component coordinator, Bao Le, has been monitoring questions and discussions on the ARL-Assess e-mail list and working with Robert Dugan, chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board and dean of libraries at University of West Florida. Dugan has also developed and maintains a LibGuide that serves as an unofficial FAQ regarding the IPEDS Academic Libraries Component. David Larsen and Elizabeth Edwards of University of Chicago offered analysis of the IPEDS survey challenges during the ARL Library Assessment Forum at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting this January. A video of their presentation is available on the ARL YouTube channel (starting at 49:58 “IPEDS: Academic Libraries Component”).

ARL and ACRL are providing leadership by establishing a task force to formalize the advice offered by the academic library community and to ensure that advice is communicated to the IPEDS Academic Libraries coordinator.

“It is important to develop a robust national survey form useful to all types of academic libraries and in sync with national and international standards,” said Mary Ellen Davis, ACRL executive director.

ARL executive director Elliott Shore called for “taking a collaborative approach to shared understandings of academic libraries and their work, being cost effective and efficient as we streamline this effort to improve our national education statistics, and leveraging our collective wisdom in developing guidance for the community.”

Historically the US National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) collected academic library statistics as part of the library statistics program every two years with National Commission on Libraries and Information Science (NCLIS) oversight so that all library sectors were included (academic, public, state library agencies and school libraries).  Due to the closure of NCLIS in 2008 and reorganization within NCES, the public and state library statistics of NCES were transferred to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) while the academic and school library statistics remained with NCES.  The Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) was moved into the IPEDS data collection system and underwent major revisions. The new Academic Libraries Component became part of the annual IPEDS data collection activities, beginning with FY 2014.

Members of the ARL/ACRL Joint Advisory Task Force on the IPEDS Academic Libraries Component include:


Robert Dugan, Chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board; University of West Florida;

Robert Fox, Chair of the ARL Assessment Committee; University of Louisville;


Elizabeth Edwards, University of Chicago,

Terri Fishel, Macalester College,

Steve Hiller, University of Washington,

Martha Kyrillidou, Association of Research Libraries; Chair of the NISO Z39.7 Data Dictionary;

David Larsen, University of Chicago,

Bao Le, National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS Academic Libraries Contact,

Bede Mitchell, Georgia Southern University,

Kenley Neufeld, Santa Barbara City College,

Mary Jane Petrowski, Association of College & Research Libraries,

Kathy Rosa, Office of Research & Statistics, American Library Association,

For more information, contact Martha Kyrillidou, Senior Director of ARL Statistics and Service Quality Programs, at 202-296-2296 or, or ACRL Associate Director Mary Jane Petrowski at 312-280-2523 or

Member of the Week: John Shank

John Shank
John Shank is Head of the Boscov-Lakin Information Commons & Thun Library at The Pennsylvania State University in Reading, Pennsylvania. John has been an ACRL member since 2002 and is your ACRL member of the week for May 25, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: “Love to learn.”

2. What are you reading (or listening to on your mobile device(s)? Pandora’s Baroque Station.

3. Describe ACRL in three words:  Libraries, learning, and scholarship.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value how ACRL provides venues for professional development, academic library advocacy, and collective conversations about our value and impact on Higher Education.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? In 2001, I was hired into a faculty position that was brand new at Penn State University (i.e. Instructional Design Librarian) and one of only a handful of such positions that existed in higher education at the time. I am happy to report that there are now hundreds of similar positions in higher education today. My librarian position remained unique in that I was a manager (directed the Center for Learning & Teaching), an instructor (taught courses in educational technology integration), and a librarian (assisted faculty and students in finding, choosing and using digital course resources). Because of this experience, I witnessed first-hand how online interactive, educational tutorials, games, and simulations could meaningfully enhance student class performance. Consequently, I became a passionate advocate for the use of interactive educational resources across the curriculum of my college. Because no handbook existed to help librarians or instructors locate and integrate these resources into their instruction, I decided to write the first handbook, Interactive Open Educational Resources: A Guide to Finding, Choosing, and Using What’s Out There to Transform College Teaching, on the topic to enable educators to more easily find, choose, and use these resources.

6. In your own words: Open Educational Resources (OER) are starting to gain traction in Higher Education although there is still a lot of work to be done. A recent survey conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group found that the majority of faculty (66%) were “unaware” of OER. This affords librarians a wonderful opportunity to raise the awareness of our faculty, help enhance student learning at our institutions, and increase the relevance of our collections. I am not aware of a study that has examined librarians’ awareness of OER although I would like to think that it is higher than what the Babson survey found. If you are not sure where to start to find high quality OER visit my iOERs, LORs, & Interactive Learning Materials site where you can find the best online repositories and libraries that can be searched for interactive learning content.


Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Elizabeth Caris at for more information.

Immersion application extension: June 5 deadline

The application deadline for the ACRL Information Literacy Immersion Program Assessment and Intentional Teacher tracks has been extended until Friday, June 5.

The Immersion Program allows you to embrace your educational role by embarking on a path of teacher development and pedagogical inquiry in a community of practice for academic librarians devoted to collaborative learning and individual renewal.  The program will be offered in Nashville, Tennessee. Assessment track dates are November 4-7, 2015; Intentional Teaching track dates are November 4-8, 2015.

Assessment: Demonstrating the Educational Value of the Academic Library Track (November 4-7, 2015) — Discover how to approach assessment from a learning-centered perspective. Participants will emerge with a broader understanding of assessment and how to use assessment as an important tool to guide evidence-based classroom, curriculum and program development. Learning outcomes include:

  • Define assessment in terms of student learning in order to understand its relationship to good teaching, library viability, and change
  • Formulate a learning-centered philosophy of assessment in order to inform development of information literacy program elements
  • Explore and utilize multiple modes of assessment in order to build a culture of evidence upon which to base programmatic development and change
  • Critically examine a variety of assessment techniques and methodologies in order to evaluate them for application in your institutional setting
  • Examine the leadership role of the library in a collaborative IL assessment effort in order to build support and trust among the stakeholder groups at your institution

I love Immersion. Every program I’ve gone to has done more to change me in a few days than years of work. Thank you so much!” ~ 2014 Assessment Immersion participant

Intentional Teaching: Reflective Teaching to Improve Student Learning Track (November 4-8, 2015) — Find out how to become more self-aware and self-directed as a teacher.  This track is aimed at the experienced academic librarian (5+ years teaching experience, in a library or other setting) and facilitates the process of critical reflection through peer discussion, readings and personal reflection as a pathway to professional growth and renewal. Learning outcomes include:

  • Engage in ongoing reflective practice in order to sustain professional renewal and growth.
  • Articulate a personal philosophy of teaching and learning in order to intentionally shape the student experience.
  • Align personal philosophy with daily practice in order to consistently actualize your beliefs, intentions and actions
  • Participate in a community of practice in order to access and share ideas, resources, publications, support structures, and networks.
  • Value uncertainty and risk-taking in order to deepen your identity and integrity as a teacher.

Teachers were all fantastic! Participants were all extraordinary people. Fell in love with everyone. Readings were very informative. Can’t wait to go home and read all the books and share them with my colleagues. I’m stoked. Can’t wait to go home and teach!” ~ 2014 Intentional Teaching Immersion participant

Visit the Immersion website for complete details about the program, including curriculum details and application instructions.  Questions concerning the program or application process should be directed to Margot Conahan at (312) 280-2522 or

Crooker, Sandstrom Join Choice Editorial Team

Cynthia Crooker has been named science and technology editor and Pamela Sandstrom has been named reference editor for Choice. The premier source of reviews of academic books and digital resources of interest to scholars and students in higher education, Choice is a publishing unit of ACRL.

Crooker is an experienced editor with a Master’s degree in English (University of Delaware); she also completed her coursework for a PhD in English at Brown University and holds a second Master’s degree in library science from Simmons College.  A librarian at Yale University for twenty-three years, she spent fifteen of those years at the Cushing/Whitney Medical Library where she handled collection development and served on the committee which chose digital resources for the library.  More recently, Crooker worked with STM publishers on ebook discovery issues for the medical vendor, Doody Enterprises. She first worked at Choice on various ebook projects from 2011-2014 as a contract worker.

“I’m thrilled to be back working at Choice. This position combines all of my favorite interests: serving academic libraries and their users, matching books and people (in this case, reviewers), and editing. It’s the ideal job,” she said.

“Cynthia has worked with Choice as a freelancer for several years, during which time she was known for her attention to detail and stellar work ethic.  We couldn’t be happier that she is now joining us as a full-time employee bringing to our publishing unit her considerable background as editor, medical librarian, and educator,” said Choice Editorial Director Tom Radko.  “As Choice’s new science and technology editor, Cynthia is a fine addition to our editorial team.”

Crooker steps into the role vacated by Georgia Scura, who retired in April 2015.

Trained as an academic librarian and information social scientist, Sandstrom has blended librarianship and cross-cultural research in her career, and has made original contributions to the research specialty of information foraging theory. She holds a PhD in Library and Information Science from Indiana University.

As she puts it, “My passion is helping people articulate strategies that help them realize their information goals. I have experience in formulating problems for investigation, analyzing information-seeking behavior, evaluating key sociocultural and technical factors, and identifying barriers to information access.”

“Pamela is no stranger to Choice, as she’s been one of our reference reviewers since 1999,” comments Radko.  “In addition, she stepped in for a 6-month appointment in 2013 when our humanities editor went on sabbatical.  I first heard about Pamela in 1986 while serving as the acquisitions editor for the University of Oklahoma Press; this was about the time the press published her and Alan R. Sandstrom’s book, Traditional Papermaking and Paper Cult Figures of Mexico–which is still in print.  Pamela’s credentials are impressive, and she’s the ideal candidate to oversee this important area of our program.”

Sandstrom steps into the role vacated by Carolyn Wilcox, who retired in December 2014 after over a decade of service.

Both Crooker and Sandstrom will report to Tom Radko, editorial director of Choice.


Global Coalition Denounces Elsevier’s Sharing Policy

Organizations around the world denounce Elsevier’s new policy that impedes open access and sharing

On April 30, 2015, Elsevier announced a new sharing and hosting policy for Elsevier journal articles. This policy represents a significant obstacle to the dissemination and use of research knowledge, and creates unnecessary barriers for Elsevier published authors in complying with funders’ open access policies. In addition, the policy has been adopted without any evidence that immediate sharing of articles has a negative impact on publishers subscriptions.

Despite the claim by Elsevier that the policy advances sharing, it actually does the opposite. The policy imposes unacceptably long embargo periods of up to 48 months for some journals. It also requires authors to apply a “non-commercial and no derivative works” license for each article deposited into a repository, greatly inhibiting the re-use value of these articles. Any delay in the open availability of research articles curtails scientific progress and places unnecessary constraints on delivering the benefits of research back to the public.

Furthermore, the policy applies to “all articles previously published and those published in the future” making it even more punitive for both authors and institutions. This may also lead to articles that are currently available being suddenly embargoed and inaccessible to readers.

As organizations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we support the adoption of policies and practices that enable the immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles. This policy is in direct conflict with the global trend towards open access and serves only to dilute the benefits of openly sharing research results.

We strongly urge Elsevier to reconsider this policy and we encourage other organizations and individuals to express their opinions.

ACRL is among the signatories of the above statement. See the complete list and sign on on as an individual or organization.

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