Category Archives: Publications

Reading, Research, and Writing: Teaching Information Literacy with Process-Based Research Assignments

Reading, Research, and Writing coverACRL announces the publication of Reading, Research, and Writing: Teaching Information Literacy with Process-Based Research Assignments, by Mary Snyder Broussard. Through theory and examples, and with ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education integrated throughout, Reading, Research, and Writing shows just how difficult research assignments can be for novice learners, and offers concrete plans and approaches for building assignments that enhance student learning.

The research paper has become so ingrained in higher education that its benefits are assumed to be self-evident, but the connection between student writing and learning is not always clear. Educators frequently discuss the lack of critical thinking demonstrated in undergraduate research papers, but it may not be that students will not invest in writing assignments—it’s possible that many cannot with the educational support currently provided.

In six chapters—including a final chapter on turning theory into practice—this book is an in-depth, interdisciplinary look at the literature in rhetoric and composition studies, reading comprehension, cognitive psychology, education theory, and library and information science that captures what academic librarians and their teaching faculty collaborators should know about reading and writing to improve undergraduate writing-from-sources assignments. The implications for such an understanding include improving students’ motivation to research, analyze, and synthesize information at a deeper level; improving librarians’ ability to influence effective assignment design among teaching faculty; and opening new avenues of meaningful formative assessment in library instruction.

Information literacy and writing-from-sources are important skills for college graduates who leave formal education to be professionals and, hopefully, lifelong learners. Librarians must examine the broader picture that their piece fits within and work across disciplines to produce truly literate—and therefore information-literate—college graduates.

Reading, Research, and Writing: Teaching Information Literacy with Process-Based Research Assignments is available for purchase in print and as an ebook through the ALA Online Store; in print through; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

C&RL News – May 2017

C&RL News - May 2017The May 2017 issue of C&RL News is now freely available online. While the literature on pedagogy and library services may trend more towards aspects of educating traditional college students, the changing populations at many institutions require an additional focus on continuing education students. In this issue’s Perspectives on the Framework column, Carrie Ludovico of the University of Richmond writes about “Seeing the world through adult eyes” when applying the concepts in the Framework for Information Literacy.

Karen Pruneda, Amber Wilson, and Jessica Riedmueller discuss efforts to engage students in the physical spaces of the University of Central Arkansas in their article “Writing on the walls.”

The University of North Carolina-Greensboro has long used interns from the university’s LIS program to provide reference services. Orolando Duffus provides an overview of the program, along with looking at its benefits for interns as they move into professional roles, in his article “Assessing UNC-Greensboro’s Reference Interns Program.”

Cynthia A. Romanowski of Governors State University follows up on a past essay on her experiences beginning the tenure process in this month’s The Way I See It essay, “First-time faculty librarian, second-year experience.”

In this month’s Scholarly Communication column, Allyson Rodriguez discusses opportunities to normalize open access through “Collaboration in scholarly communication” efforts at the University of North Texas. Also, this month, our Internet Resources feature by Sarah Barbrow, Denise Brush, and Julie Goldman provides an excellent list of online tools related to “Research data management and services.”

Make sure to check out the other features and departments this month, including the second installment of 2017 ACRL award winners, information on ACRL programming and events at the 2017 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, and a look at the latest issue of our scholarly research journal College & Research Libraries.

New ACRL Report Highlights Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success coverThrough a new report issued by ACRL, “Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects,” the higher education community now has compelling assessment findings that tell a strong story about the multiple ways that academic libraries are contributing to student learning and success. The report focuses on projects completed during the third and final year as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) from April 2015 to June 2016. Teams from more than 50 campuses completed assessment projects and reported on them individually (fully searchable online),  and this synthesis builds on past findings from an additional 150 projects completed during the first and second years of the AiA program as context.

Positive connections between the library and aspects of student learning and success in five areas are particularly noteworthy:

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  2. Library use increases student success. Students who used the library the library in some way (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online database access, study room use, interlibrary loan) achieved higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.
  3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).
  4. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Library instruction improves students’ achievement of institutional core competencies and general education outcomes such as inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including effective identification and use of information, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement.
  5. Library research consultations boost student learning. One-on-one or small-group reference and research assistance with a librarian enhances academic success, as documented by such factors as student confidence, GPAs, and improved achievement on course assignments.

While these project findings may not be generalizable, as from some forms of social science research, they can be adapted to other settings with care and consideration to local context. Because the findings are derived from action research, which is situated in authentic institutional contexts, the results reflect “on the ground” practices in terms of resources available and campus priorities.

“We now have compelling assessment findings that tell a strong story about the multiple ways that libraries are contributing to student learning and success. Having overall consistent assessment findings of library impact in these five areas—across a body of over 200 projects—is especially strong because of the variation. Each setting was unique; each library program and service differed in the way it was designed and implemented for the local context; students had different characteristics and backgrounds; there was a multiplicity of methods for investigating library impact on students,” said report preparer Karen Brown, professor in the School of Information Studies at Dominican University. “We urge academic libraries to grow and strengthen high-quality programs and services in these five areas of effective practice. Assessment findings such as these from the AiA projects lessen the need to question whether investments of time and energy in these areas will bring about a positive impact.”

In addition, the AiA projects continue to build evidence of promise for library impact in four areas which have yielded promising results about positive connections between the library and students’ academic success:

  • The library contributes to improved student retention.
  • Library instruction adds value to a student’s long-term academic experience.
  • The library promotes academic rapport and student engagement.
  • Use of library space relates positively to student learning and success.

Beyond the findings about library impact, librarian team leaders reflected on the experience of leading a collaborative campus team. Librarians engaged in an immersive process of ongoing interaction with one another and collaboration with their team members.

“The librarians led the design and implementation of assessment that related directly to their campus’s academic priorities, creating opportunities for substantive conversations with campus stakeholders about student learning and resulting in meaningful findings that informed decision making about library programs and practices,” noted ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives Kara Malenfant, who contributed to the report. “Through this, they strengthened crucial leadership qualities such as an awareness of the importance of decision making grounded in institutional context, a deeper understanding the dynamic nature of assessment, and a recognition of the personal and professional growth that emerges through collaboration with others.”

Read more in the full report “Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects.” The executive summary is available as a separate document, formatted to share broadly with campus stakeholders.

The three-year AiA program, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), helped more than 200 postsecondary institutions of all types create partnerships at their institution to promote library leadership and engagement in campus-wide assessment. Each participating institution established a team with a lead librarian and at least two colleagues from other campus units. Team members frequently included teaching faculty and administrators from such departments as the assessment office, institutional research, the writing center, academic technology, and student affairs. Over a 14-month period, the librarians led their campus teams in the development and implementation of a project that aims to contribute to assessment activities at their institution.

A new day-long traveling ACRL workshop builds on the AiA curriculum with a focus on strategic and sustainable assessment. Learn more about how to bring this and other ACRL licensed workshops to your institution, chapter, or consortia.

A forthcoming print volume, Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience: Activating the Results of Assessment in Action, will describe the entire AiA program in greater detail. The volume, to be published by ACRL in fall 2017, will provide context, offer reflections from team leaders, and serve as a culminating capstone for the three year IMLS-funded program.



Call for Reviewers—Resources for College Libraries

Resources for College Libraries (RCL), the Choice/ACRL bibliography of essential titles for undergraduate teaching and research, seeks experienced subject librarians and academic faculty to serve as referees for the peer review of its arts and humanities disciplines. Referees are tasked with reviewing the subject bibliography comprehensively for breadth and depth, providing recommendations for editorial improvement. Continuously updated, RCL includes over 85,000 resources in 61 curriculum-specific areas and is a co-publication of Choice/ACRL and ProQuest. Learn more about RCL on the bibliography website.

Subject Disciplines

American Literature :: British Literature :: Classical Languages and Literatures :: Dance :: Drama and Theater :: French Language and Literature :: General Language and Literature :: Germanic Languages and Literatures :: Italian Language and Literature :: Music :: Other Literatures in English :: Philosophy :: Religion :: Russian and Eastern European Languages and Literatures :: Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures :: Visual Arts

How to Apply

Choice/ACRL encourages individuals with experience selecting for academic collections and/or teaching undergraduates to apply. If you are interested in serving as a peer reviewer, please submit a brief description of your relevant background, along with your résumé or CV to Anne Doherty (, RCL Project Editor. Preference will be given to those who apply by June 1, 2017.

Find further details and FAQs are available on the RCL website.

College & Research Libraries – May 2017

The May 2017 issue of College & Research Libraries is now freely available online. Visit the C&RL website for complete contents from 1939 to the present and follow C&RL on Facebook and Twitter for updates and discussion.

Note: The November 2013 issue was the final print issue of College & Research Libraries. The journal began an online-only publication model in January 2014.

Guest Editorial

Emily Ford. “Advancing an Open Ethos with Open Peer Review.”


Ningning Kong, Michael Fosmire, and Benjamin Dewayne Branch. “Developing Library GIS Services for Humanities and Social Science: An Action Research Approach.”

Elise Silva, Quinn Galbraith, and Michael Groesbeck. “Academic Librarians’ Changing Perceptions of Faculty Status and Tenure.”

Deborah D. Blecic, Stephen E. Wiberley Jr., Sandra L. De Groote, John Cullars, Mary Shultz, and Vivian Chan. “Publication Patterns of U.S. Academic Librarians and Libraries from 2003 to 2012.”

Sue Samson, Kim Granath, and Adrienne Alger. “Journey Mapping the User Experience.”

Angela Boyd, Yolanda Blue, and Suzanne Im. “Evaluation of Academic Library Residency Programs in the United States for Librarians of Color.”

Lili Luo, Marie Kennedy, Kristine Brancolini, and Michael Stephens. “Developing Online Communities for Librarian Researchers: A Case Study.”

Lindsay Roberts. “Research in the Real World: Improving Adult Learners Web Search and Evaluation Skills through Motivational Design and Problem-Based Learning.”

Book Reviews

Kristen Cardoso. Joe Eshleman, Richard Moniz, Karen Mann, and Kristen Eshleman. Librarians and Instructional Designers: Collaboration and Innovation. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2016. 198p. Paper, $65.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1455-7). LC 2016014823.

Amy Frazier. Managing Digital Cultural Objects: Analysis, Discovery and Retrieval. Eds. Allen Foster and Pauline Rafferty. Chicago: ALA Neal-Schuman, 2016. 256p. Paper $88.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1343-7).

Lisa M. McFall. Building Trustworthy Digital Repositories: Theory and Implementation. Ed. Philip C. Bantin. Lanham, Md.: Roman & Littlefield, 2016. 371p. Paper, $65.00 (ISBN 978-1-4422-6378-9).

Michael C. McGuire. Library Technology Buying Strategies. Ed. Marshall Breeding. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2016. 136p. Paper, $55.00 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1467-0).

Richard M. Mikulski. Being Evidence Based in Library and Information Practice. Eds. Denise Koufogiannakis and Alison Brettle. London: Facet Publishing, 2016. xiv, 224p. Paper, $75.00 (ISBN 978-1-78330-071-6).

Marisa Soltz. Mastering Subject Specialties: Practical Advice from the Field. Ed. Karen Sobel. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited, 2016. 184p. Paper, $70.00 (ISBN 978-1-4408- 3964-1). LC 2015-043485.

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