Author Archives: Erin Nevius

Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices

Undergraduate Research coverACRL announces the publication of Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practicesedited by Merinda Kaye Hensley and Stephanie Davis-Kahl. In 25 chapters featuring 60 expert contributors, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian is a detailed guide to how librarians can help students go beyond a foundation of information literacy toward advanced research and information management skills, and align the library with institutional goals of engagement and retention.

Undergraduate research is often conflated with standard end-of-semester research papers, featuring APA style bibliographies and a certain number of sources. But in fact, undergraduate research is one of several high-impact educational practices identified by George Kuh and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, and is increasingly seen as a vital part of the undergraduate experience. Research helps students connect the dots between their interests, general education courses, writing requirements, and major coursework, and increases learning, retention, enrollment in graduate education, and engagement in future work.

Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian explores the strategic new services and cross-departmental collaborations academic libraries are creating to support research: publishing services, such as institutional repositories and undergraduate research journals; data services; copyright services; poster printing and design; specialized space; digital scholarship services; awards; and much more. These programs can be from any discipline, can be interdisciplinary, can be any high-impact format, and can reflect upon an institution’s own history, traditions, and tensions.

As higher education becomes more competitive—for dollars, for students, for grant money, for resources in general—institutions will need to increase their development of programs that provide the experiential and deep learning, and increased engagement, that research provides. The scholarly and extracurricular experiences of college are increasingly becoming a major part of marketing college education. Beyond the one-shot, beyond course-integrated instruction, Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian examines how the structures that undergird undergraduate research, such as the library, can become part of the core infrastructure of the undergraduate experience.

Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store; in print through Amazon.com; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

 

Now You’re a Manager: Quick and Practical Strategies for New Mid-Level Managers in Academic Libraries

Now You're a Manager coverACRL announces the publication of Now You’re a Manager: Quick and Practical Strategies for New Mid-Level Managers in Academic Libraries by M. Leslie Madden, Laura Carscaddon, Denita Hampton, and Brenna Helmstutler. With ten chapters covering everything from building teams to creating a respectful workplace to managing university politics, Now You’re a Manager provides lists, exercises, and techniques for assembling and managing an effective, happy team.

Many of us were never taught how to be managers before we began managing. Maybe you sought the position and interviewed for it, or maybe you were appointed to fill a need. Perhaps your long-term goal is upper-level library management, or maybe you’re happy where you are and aren’t sure how you’d like your career to progress.  Whatever the case, this guide will provide you with quick, easy-to-implement tips and strategies for tackling the most common issues encountered by mid-level managers in an academic library:

  • Managing and Building Departments and Teams
  • Managing Diverse Departments
  • Creating a Respectful Workplace and Dealing with Problem Employees
  • Professional Development and Training
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Conducting Effective Meetings
  • Managing Between Library Administration and Your Employees
  • Managing Library and University Politics and Bureaucracy
  • Managing Change
  • Managing as a Team

Now You’re a Manager is designed to meet the specific needs of new mid-level managers in academic libraries, and can be used for individual growth or group discussion, and by librarians and paraprofessionals who manage teams and departments.

Now You’re a Manager: Quick and Practical Strategies for New Mid-Level Managers in Academic Libraries is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research

Academic Library ImpactACRL announces the release of Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research. Developed for ACRL by OCLC Research, this valuable resource investigates how libraries can increase student learning and success and effectively communicate their value to higher education stakeholders. The full report is freely available for download on the ACRL website.

Now more than ever, academic libraries are being asked to demonstrate value to their institutional stakeholders, funders, and governance boards. Academic Library Impact builds on ACRL’s 2010 Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and the results of the subsequent Assessment in Action program. It demonstrates how libraries are now measuring library contributions to student learning and success, and recommends where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector such as accreditation, student retention, and academic achievement.

Academic Library Impact captures the incredible strides made by the profession in assessing and demonstrating the contributions of academic libraries to the academy, and creates a path for moving us into the future via new research avenues,” says ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis.

This action-oriented research agenda includes:

  • a report on all project phases and findings;
  • a detailed research agenda based on those findings;
  • a visualization component that filters relevant literature and creates graphics that can communicate library value to stakeholders;
  • a bibliography of the literature analyzed; and
  • a full bibliography of the works cited and reviewed.

All components were produced in partnership with OCLC Research and include analyses of library and information science (LIS) and higher education literature, focus group interviews and brainstorming sessions with academic library administrators at different institution types within the United States, and individual interviews with provosts.

“OCLC is really pleased to collaborate with ACRL on such an important topic,” said Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President of Membership and Research and OCLC Chief Strategist. “We hope this research agenda will help administrators as they examine the changing role of libraries and their collections in the lives of their students.”

Building on established best practices and recent research, Academic Library Impact clearly identifies priority areas and suggests specific actions for academic librarians and administrators to take in developing programs, collections, and spaces focused on student learning and success. It includes effective practices, calls out exemplary studies, and indicates where more inquiry is needed, with proposed research designs. It identifies the next generation of necessary research to continue to testify to library value. This new report is a significant milestone for ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative and for the profession.

Learn more about the report in this video overview:

The report is now available as a free PDF for download, and a print edition for purchase will be available through the ALA Store in October 2017. A companion online tool, “Visualizing Academic Library Impact: The ACRL/OCLC Literature Analysis Dashboard” helps librarians and researchers filter the existing literature for studies most relevant to their research interests and visually explore the literature and other data in the form of charts and graphs.

The Library Assessment Cookbook

Library Assessment CookbookACRL announces the publication of The Library Assessment Cookbook, edited by Aaron W. Dobbs. This new addition to the ACRL Cookbook series compiles lessons and techniques for academic librarians to adapt, repurpose, and implement in their libraries.

Assessment examines how library services and resources impact and are perceived by users, and guides strategic planning discussions and development of future acquisitions and services. Assessment is fundamental to positioning your library within your organization and effectively demonstrating how it furthers your institution’s goals. And it can be more of an art than a science, using the qualitative and quantitative data available to you to show your library’s alignment with the needs and mission of your organization.

The Library Assessment Cookbook features 80 practical, easy-to-implement recipes divided into nine sections:

  • Data Preparation for Assessments
  • Traditional and Online Collections Assessments
  • Instruction Programs Assessments
  • Outreach and Programming Assessment
  • Assessments Assessment
  • Strategic Planning Assessment
  • Service Points and Services Assessment
  • Equipment, Building, and Space Assessment
  • Website and Web Services Assessment

This Cookbook will help librarians of all levels of experience measure and demonstrate their institutional value.

The Library Assessment Cookbook is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

The Self as Subject: Autoethnographic Research into Identity, Culture, and Academic Librarianship

ACRL announces the publication of The Self as Subject: Autoethnographic Research into Identity, Culture, and Academic Librarianship, edited by Anne-Marie Deitering, Robert Schroeder, and Richard Stoddart. This collection of reflective narratives explores the varied dimensions of librarianship in the present moment, and examines autoethnography’s potential to help librarians answer questions that cannot be answered by traditional, empirical research methods and to reveal voices that are obscured by aggregations of data.

Autoethnography is a type of research that uses writing and self-examination to explore far-ranging cultural, political, and social issues through personal experience. It is a qualitative, reflexive, ethnographic method where the researcher is also the subject of inquiry.

Using autoethnography as their research method, the 21 academic librarian authors of The Self as Subject investigate aspects of what it means to be a librarian. Starting with a reflective examination of themselves, they each investigate questions of culture, values, and identity. All of the pieces in this volume share some characteristics: Each one is the result of a rigorous examination of the self and lived experience, and each one moves between the subjective and the cultural in its analysis. How the authors do this, however, varies widely—from a graphic novel to speculative fiction to rigorous academic analysis.

The Self as Subject provides an opportunity to expand our understanding of rigor and the practice of research in LIS, and explores what it means to be a librarian in this age of disruptive change, and how the various identities and experiences we bring to our practice shape our experience of librarianship. This book is for any librarian interested in research and research methods; the use of literary genres in research; alternatives to large empirical studies; questions of identity and social justice; and those looking to step out of their comfort zone and approach learning from a new and challenging vantage point. As Barbara Fister writes in the foreword, “this collection is something rare and important for the discipline of librarianship.”

The Self as Subject: Autoethnographic Research into Identity, Culture, and Academic Librarianship is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store; in print through Amazon.com; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

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