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Assessment in Action Comprehensive Bibliography Now Available

Assessment in Action LogoAs the higher education association for librarians, ACRL supports academic and research librarians as change leaders in their campus communities through programs like Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). The more than 200 participating AiA teams are contributing to innovation in higher education assessment by creating approaches, strategies, and practices that document the contribution of academic libraries to the overall goals and missions of their institutions.

Through AiA, librarian-led teams carried out assessment projects over 14 months at their community colleges, colleges and universities. The projects examined the impact of the library (instruction, reference, collections, space, and more) on student learning/success. Learn more in the new Assessment in Action Bibliography, listing dozens of journal articles, conference presentations and other public reports. This bibliography aims to be comprehensive, capturing all scholarly and practice-based literature and presentations about AiA and campus projects conducted as part of the AiA program by campus team members, facilitators, and ACRL staff.

Stay tuned for more on AiA results in the weeks ahead through:

  • AiA Project Synthesis: A report synthesizing the second year AiA projects and leadership of campus assessment teams will be coming out in early 2016. For the first year synthesis, see full report and executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders. Find first and second year poster abstracts, images and full project descriptions in a searchable online collection.
  • Putting Assessment into Action: Selected Projects from the First Cohort of the Assessment in Action Grant: This forthcoming ACRL case book, edited by Eric Ackerman, will showcase 27 short reflections by first year AiA team leaders on the inquiry methods they used in their assessment projects. Assembled into three groupings – Assessing Information Literacy and Library Instruction; Assessing Outreach, Services, and Spaces; and Longitudinal Assessment – the cases describe assessment methods used and the successes and/or failures of these methods along with lessons learned.
  • College and Research Libraries: The March 2016 special issue of ACRL’s scholarly journal will proudly features a selection of 7 action research studies by AiA teams, along with an introductory essay. The aim of the special issue is to help C&RL readers learn more about action research as an approach to scholarship and showcase examples of fruitful action research studies undertaken by AiA teams.

Making the Case for an Academic Friends of the Library Group

United for Libraries has added a new fact sheet to their collection of resources for getting started with academic friends groups. “Making the Case for an Academic Friends of the Library Group” (PDF) is now freely available from the United for Libraries website. Make sure to check out the full group of resources available on the Academic Friends page as well.

United for Libraries, a division of ALA, is a national network of enthusiastic library supporters who believe in the importance of libraries as the social and intellectual centers of communities and campuses. No one has a stronger voice for libraries than those who use them, raise money for them, and govern them. By uniting these voices, library supporters everywhere will become a real force to be reckoned with at the local, state, and national levels.

C&RL News – March 2015

march 15 cover imageThere has been much discussion over the past several months about the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The Board of Directors decided to “file” the new Framework at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting. More information, along with other Midwinter Board actions, is available in this issue.

At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, librarians are collaborating on a new flex education program to provide information literacy instruction. Kristin M. Woodward discusses the program in her article “Information literacy in competency-based education.”

The opening of New York University’s new program in Shanghai, China, offered a unique opportunity to work with students from a variety of cultural groups. Raymond Pun and Heng (Helen) Ge reflect on their challenges and learning opportunities in their article “The first year research experience at New York University-Shanghai.”

In this issue’s Scholarly Communication column, Monica Berger and Jill Cirasella look “Beyond Beall’s List” to better understand predatory scholarly publishers.

Archives and special collections continue to play a major role in academic and research libraries. Eddie Woodward looks at “Building relationships” between archives, archivists, and alumni; and Matt Gorzalski discusses “Archives and non-Humanities students” in this month’s issue.

Also this month we continue our look at the upcoming ALA/ACRL elections with responses from the candidates for ALA vice-president/president-elect to questions from the ACRL Board of Directors. This issue also includes a list of ACRL members running for ALA Council. Vote for the candidates of your choice in the election beginning March 24.

Make sure to check out the other features and departments, including an ACRL TechConnect article on the use of “Body apps” in anatomy and physiology instruction, information on our 75th anniversary commissioned publication; and a The Way I See It essay by Tony Horava on teaching 21st-century collection development to LIS students.

C&RL News – February 2015

C&RL News - February 2015

The February 2015 issue of C&RL News is now freely available online.

Many libraries of all types, including academic and research libraries, continue to experiment with makerspaces as a way to provide outreach and education. Megan Lotts provides an overview of making activities in academic libraries in her article “Implementing a culture of creativity,” along with detailing her experiments with pop-up making spaces at Rutgers University.

Librarians at the University of Alabama incorporated making activities such as video creation and 3-D printing into their campus’ orientation programs. Vincent F. Scalfani and Lindley C. Shedd discuss the program in their article “Recruiting students to campus.”

Making activities can also extend to service learning programs. Angela Pashia writes about the University of West Georgia Ingram Library’s participation in a community program to fight hunger in her article “Empty Bowls in the library.”

In this month’s Scholarly Communication column, column editors Zach Coble and Adrian Ho interview Martin Paul Eve and John Willinsky about their visions for “Open access in humanities and social sciences.”

Looking for new active learning approaches for instruction sessions? Tiffeni J. Fontno and Dianne N. Brown give helpful tips for incorporating learning centers in the information literacy classroom in their article “Putting information literacy in the students’ hands.”

Also this month we continue our look at the upcoming ALA/ACRL elections with statements from the candidates for ACRL vice-president/president-elect. Review the full statements by the candidates for ALA vice-president/president-elect in the March issue, and vote for the candidates of your choice in the election beginning March 24.

Make sure to check out the other features and departments, including a look at dining and drinking options in our ACRL 2015 host city of Portland, by Angie Beiriger; Internet Resources on “Virtual conferencing and meeting systems;” and a The Way I See It essay on the search power of librarians by Tina P. Frank.

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

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