Synthesis of “Assessment in Action” Team Projects

Academic Library Contributions to Student Success: Documented Practices from the FieldACRL has released a new report “Academic Library Contributions to Student Success: Documented Practices from the Field” which synthesizes results from over 70 higher education institutions from across North America which recently completed team-based assessment projects. These projects, from the first year of Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA), resulted in promising and effective approaches to demonstrating the library’s value to students’ academic success.

The findings from the assessment work of the first cohort of campus teams are impressive. By demonstrating the variety of ways that libraries contribute to student learning and success, academic librarians are establishing connections between such academic success outcomes as student retention, persistence, GPA, engagement, graduation, career preparedness, and different aspects of the library (e.g., instruction, reference, space and facilities, and collections).

Many of the projects are replicable at other academic libraries or contain elements that can be adapted to a college or university’s unique institutional context. Libraries can learn about ideas and strategies that promote evidence-based demonstrations of an academic library’s contributions to student learning and success through the wide variety of projects. Find out more:

AiA is a three-year project sponsored by the ACRL in partnership with the Association of Institutional Research and the Association of Public Land-grant Universities, and with funding from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. When the project concludes in 2016, over 200 higher education institutions will have participated in developing assessment methods and tools.

Interested in participating in the next round of Assessment in Action? ACRL is seeking applications from all types of higher education institutions for 125 additional teams. Apply by March 4, 2015, to participate in the third year of the program, April 2015-June 2016.

2015 ACRL Excellence in Academic Libraries Award Winners Announced

ACRL is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award – Santa Fe College Lawrence W. Tyree Library, Gainesville, Fla; Amherst College Frost Library, Amherst, Mass.; and Purdue University Libraries, West Lafayette, Ind.. Sponsored by ACRL and YBP Library Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university, and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution.

“These three deserving recipients demonstrate the commitment to student learning, digital scholarship, and data research services, with a focus on continuous innovation and engagement with the campus community, that exemplifies today’s best academic and research libraries,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “Receiving an Excellence in Academic Libraries Award is a national tribute to each library and its staff for outstanding services, programs, and leadership.”

The Lawrence W. Tyree Library of Santa Fe College, winner in the community college category, was chosen for emphasizing its innovation and passion for distance instruction, financial literacy, and community.

“The Lawrence Tyree Library demonstrated how their staff brings creativity and innovation to their community,” said Steven Bell, chair of the 2015 Excellence in Academic Libraries Committee and associate university librarian for research and instructional services at Temple University. “This is evidenced within their model information literacy initiative that makes use of strategies such as flipped instruction, virtual learning for distance students, and a commitment to use active learning techniques in the classroom. So passionate are the Tyree librarians about extending high quality learning to distance students that several librarians achieved certification as Quality Matters online course reviewers, and their own online library instruction course was the first at Santa Fe to pass the rigorous Quality Matters review.”

“Tyree Library also helps students become financially literate, becoming only the second community college since 2007 to receive a $100,000 ‘Smart Investing @ Your Library’ grant from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation,” Bell continued. “The committee also took note of the commitment to delivering on-campus programming from mystery nights, to relationship building with faculty, and a wonderful collaboration with their education program to deliver a STEM-focused reading program to elementary education students in their city.”

“We are humbled, thrilled and very happy for this recognition,” said Lawrence W. Tyree Library director Myra Sterrett. “The L.W. Tyree Library has a great staff, and we all constantly pull together to ensure the library is part of the fabric of the college. This award is a reflection on the tireless efforts and contributions of our entire library community. Nothing beats recognition from one’s peers, and we thank you so much!”

Frost Library of Amherst College, winner of this year’s award in the college category, impressed the committee with its transformation to focus on its objectives of teaching students research skills, promoting and enabling universal access to information, and creating a new model of academic publishing.

“Amherst’s Frost Library emerged as a clear example of what it means to hold oneself to high standards and to set the bar even higher for what it means to achieve excellence as a college library,” noted Bell. “Frost Library received considerable attention in 2013 when it announced the establishment of the first academic press in the United States dedicated to the publication of scholarly monographs solely under an open access model. While that alone would qualify Frost Library for distinction, there is much more to the impressive accomplishments found in their award application. To vastly improve its delivery of instruction, a new unit was created and five positions were dedicated to integrating the library into student learning. Members of this unit played important roles in tutorials and seminars made possible by a Mellon grant to the college.”

“Frost librarians are truly teaching collaboratively with their faculty,” Bell added. “Along with colleagues from Swarthmore and Haverford, Amherst is exploring ways to track students over their undergraduate career to measure and assess their ability to produce quality research Amherst is also considered a leader among its peers by maintaining high ethical standards to promote the production and sharing of publicly accessible content, while resisting publisher efforts to force unfair business practices on academic libraries.”

“Our library has an extraordinary staff,” said Bryn Geffert, librarian of the college at Amherst College. “They’re exceptional in every way: smart, adaptable, selfless, creative, and tireless. I take this award to be as much an ‘excellent library staff’ award as an ‘excellence in academic libraries’ award.”

Purdue University Libraries, winner in the university category, was selected for its numerous outstanding initiatives.

“Purdue University Libraries succeeds by being experimental, taking risks, innovating and leveraging collaboration with their faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to push the boundaries of what research university libraries can accomplish for their community, locally, and globally,” said Bell.

“Whether it’s their information literacy initiative that features their participation in Purdue’s IMPACT (Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation) curriculum, a commitment to renovate and create library spaces that are highly intentional about student learning and collaboration with faculty or engaging in course redesign with their faculty, what most impressed the committee was Purdue’s profession leading and cutting edge work in the area of research data services.”

“Where Purdue excels among this year’s strong pool of university applicants is in their support of faculty research, through their Library Scholars Grant program, which provides faculty members with grants for travel to special collections at other institutions in support of their growth as scholars,” Bell continued.

“The faculty and staff of the Purdue University Libraries are proud of the progress that we have made to define the role of the 21st century research library within its university community,” said James L. Mullins, dean of libraries and Esther Ellis Norton professor at Purdue University. “To have our creativity, innovation, and dedication recognized through this important award is a wonderful honor.”

“The final decision in each category was truly difficult,” Bell noted. “This pool of candidates speaks volumes about the amazing work that academic librarians perform on behalf of their communities – as well as the global community of learners and researchers – to advance learning and transform scholarship.”

Each winning library will receive $3,000 and a plaque, to be presented at an award ceremony held on each recipient’s campus.

Additional information on the award, along with a list of past winners, is available on the ACRL website.


About ACRL

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

About YBP Library Services

YBP Library Services, a Baker & Taylor company, provides print and digital content, supporting collection management and technical services to academic, research and special libraries throughout the world. GOBI3, YBP’s acquisition and collection development interface, provides access to more than 10 million titles. YBP is located in Contoocook, N.H., USA. For more on the company, visit

Member of the Week: Xiaoyu Duan

Xiaoyu DuanXiaoyu Duan is Humanities Cataloger at the University of Oklahoma Libraries in Norman, Oklahoma. Xiaoyu has been an ACRL member since 2014, is a 2015 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for January 26, 2015.

1. Describe yourself in three words: Enthusiastic, creative, sincere.

2. What are you currently reading (or listening to on your mobile device)? I read novels, journals, and academic papers on my Xoom pad, and I use my mobile phone to listen to music and streaming radio.

3. Describe ACRL in three words: Academic, active, diverse.

4. What do you value about ACRL? I value the opportunities and platforms ACRL provides for academic librarians for professional development, and I also value the information and trainings offered by ACRL to help new librarians become leaders in their profession.

5. What do you as an academic librarian contribute to your campus? I work as the humanities cataloger for my university libraries. By providing metadata records for the library resources, faculty, staff and students are able to search and use these resources from our library discovery service for their studies, research, and instruction.

6. In your own words: For me, to be an academic librarian is to be a person who opens the gates for faculty, staff, and students to access academic resources. Academic librarians also work with faculty, staff, and students to offer assistance during their research process. This is in support of the institution’s missions and goals.

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

ACRL Presents – Celebrating Fair Use Week, “Does Fair Use Really Work?” (2/24)

Join us for the free ACRL Presents webcast, “Celebrating Fair Use Week: Does Fair Use Really Work?,” on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, from 1:00 — 2:00 p.m. Central time.  Fair use seems obscure and difficult to many. Especially after the Appeals Court ruling in the Georgia State case, we may find ourselves wondering if it is really a workable approach to balancing the rights of creators with socially desirable uses. Yet many other countries are seeking to emulate what they see as the benefits of fair use. In this webinar, we will try to unwind some of the complexity of fair use. We will consider the role of context in making fair use decisions and suggest strategies for deciding when to turn to fair use and how to think through the analysis.

Learning outcomes:

  • Learn about some of the rationale behind an open-ended copyright exception like fair use.
  • Gain a greater understanding of how fair use works and when it is applicable to a specific situation.
  • Gain greater confidence when making fair use decisions.

Presenter: Kevin Smith, Director, Copyright & Scholarly Communication, Duke University Libraries

Kevin’s first book, Owning and Using Scholarship: An IP Handbook for Teachers and Researchers” recently published by ACRL, is available for purchase in print, as an e-book and as a print/ e-book bundle and is also available as an Open Access edition on the ACRL website.

How to register
Submit your free registration online by February 21, 2015.  The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Questions should be directed to  More details about Fair Use Week, February 23-27, 2015, are available online.

Integrating the Academic Libraries Survey (ALS) into IPEDS: Academic Libraries’ Data Collection Changes and its Influence on Benchmarking

Editor’s Note: The ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board is working to create awareness of the migration of the NCES Academic Library Survey back into the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) and the implications for academic libraries. This is the fourth in a series of updates from the Robert Dugan, dean of libraries at the University of West Florida, and chair of the ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has integrated the Academic Libraries (AL) component, formerly known as the biennial Academic Libraries Survey (ALS), into its Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2014-15 collection. All degree-granting, Title IV postsecondary institutions in the U.S. and other jurisdictions are required to report library information annually beginning in December 2014 when the IPEDS Spring data collection opens.

The ACRL annual Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey is now open. Mary Ellen K. Davis, Executive Director of ACRL, sent emails to academic libraries about the availability of the survey from  Please note than an “opt-in” question is posed in this year’s survey; an affirmative response will display the questions from the IPEDS AL component for completion.  The data submitted will enable respondents to import a file that can be used to respond to the AL component of the IPEDS spring collection without the need to re-key the library’s responses.

Many academic libraries have used the data collections from the former biennial Academic Library Surveys and the annual ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Surveys to conduct peer and aspirant benchmarking studies.  Data elements often used in library benchmarking analyses and reports that will not be captured in the current AL component include:


  • Instead of collecting staffing levels as full time equivalents (FTE), IPEDS staffing information includes a “head count” of part-time and full-time library staff, and staffing counts of race and ethnicity by gender. IPEDS will collect this data in the Human Resources (HR) component (Spring collection) to ensure consistent reporting and avoid duplication of data.
  • Libraries may be able to extrapolate FTE; however, the part-time count will not be precise –libraries will not be able to view or calculate .25, .5, and .75 levels of FTE. As an example, 10 part-time staff could be equal to as few as 2.25 FTE (.25 FTE each) or as much as 7.75 FTE (.75 FTE each). This imprecision could be significant in benchmarking studies.
  • The IPEDS HR component will collect full- and part-time counts for three staff classifications as defined by the 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC): Librarians (25-4021); Library Technicians (25-4031); and Archivists, Curators, and Museum Technicians (25-4010). The definitions of these staffing classifications differ from those used in the ALS.
  • Institutions’ personnel offices already track the staffing level information. Therefore, IPEDS keyholders may not ask the library department to gather or submit staffing data.

Library Services

  • No reporting for the number of reference transactions.
  • No reporting at all for information services to groups. This includes the number of presentations provided and the total attendance at all presentations.

Library Services Typical Week

  • No reporting of weekly public service hours (hours open).
  • No reporting of entrance gate counts.

Library Collections

  • No reporting of the number of documents digitized by library staff

Use of Electronic Resources

  • No reporting of the number of successful full-text article requests.

IPEDS’ integration of the Academic Library Survey into the AL component has changed the data elements compiled; as a result, the loss of one or more of the data elements in the new survey may affect libraries’ benchmarking studies. Many of these data elements from the AL component will be collected through the ACRL survey currently underway.  ACRLMetrics subscribers will be able to apply the compiled data to support their library’s benchmarking studies.

– Robert Dugan, Chair, ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Survey Editorial Board

1 2 3 318