Category Archives: Value of Academic Libraries

2018 Academic Library Impact Research Grants

Portrait of America no.106 Vassar College Library, c.1944ACRL is pleased to announce the launch of the new Academic Library Impact Research Grants. The ACRL Board of Directors has allocated $20,000 in fiscal year 2018 to offer research grants of up to $3,000 each. These grants will enable librarians to carry out new research, particularly in areas suggested by ACRL’s 2017 report Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research (prepared for ACRL by OCLC Research and available for download or purchase).

ACRL invites practicing librarians and information professionals employed in academic and research libraries to apply for funding for research that will demonstrate library contributions to student learning and success. Each proposed project should aim to build on the foundations of the Academic Library Impact report and fill gaps in existing literature. As the report’s authors write, it is intended to act “as a catalyst for the study of college and university student learning and success,” highlighting questions for further investigation as well as tools and methods that can be applied to them or any number of related topics.

This program is one of several developed by ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries (VAL) Committee to support librarians in their efforts to demonstrate the impact of their work to a wider audience. “These new grants will advance research in key areas,” says committee chair Alan Carbery. The goal is to “demonstrate the myriad positive impacts libraries can have on student learning and success, and to share those findings to the benefit of the library field and higher education.”

Applications are due by April 1, 2018. ACRL expects to announce future rounds of research grants in 2019. Complete details of the Academic Library Impact Research Grants, including how to apply, are available on the ACRL website.

NILOA and ACRL Release “Creating Sustainable Assessment through Collaboration: A National Program Reveals Effective Practices”

Creating Sustainable Assessment through Collaboration:The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) announces the release of “Creating Sustainable Assessment through Collaboration: A National Program Reveals Effective Practices” in partnership with ACRL. The occasional paper was written by Kara J. Malenfant, ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives, and Karen Brown, professor in the School of Information Studies at Dominican University, Illinois. The full paper is available online.

Creating Sustainable Assessment through Collaboration” synthesizes the results of ACRL’s Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) program, which involved over 200 campus teams led by librarians designing, implementing, and evaluating an action-learning project that sought to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. The paper looks at the collaborative practices advanced by the AiA program (made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services) and explains how these practices promote assessment aligned with institutional priorities, encourage common understanding among stakeholder groups about attributes of academic success, produce meaningful measures of student learning, create a unified campus message about student learning and success, and focus on transformative and sustainable change.

Five particularly compelling AiA findings are:

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework;
  2. Library use increases student success;
  3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning;
  4. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes; and
  5. Library research consultations boost student learning.

“The Assessment in Action program was a groundbreaking examination of the impact of the library on student success and the furthering of institutional goals. This paper is a compelling look at why these practices worked and how important it is for librarians to collaborate with other stakeholders on campus,” says ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis.

Creating Sustainable Assessment through Collaboration” goes on to show how the AiA experience can serve as a framework for designing assessment approaches that build partnerships and generate results for improving student learning and success through action research, and that the program results demonstrate how libraries contribute to fostering broad student outcomes essential to contemporary postsecondary education. The assessment practices that emerged from the AiA projects can be implemented in a variety of institutional settings and with varying campus priorities.

“We are delighted to showcase the power of collaborative efforts to assess student learning and understand the diverse learning environment that emerged from the AiA projects. It is clear from these efforts that librarians are a valued and integral partner to enhancing student learning,” says NILOA Director Natasha Jankowski.

The report is available as a free PDF for download online.

 

Value of Academic Libraries Travel Scholarships 2018

Photograph: aviation, commercial (Library of Congress)ACRL is pleased to announce the launch of the new Value of Academic Libraries Travel Scholarships. The Board of Directors has allocated $10,000 in fiscal year 2018 to offer travel scholarships of up to $2,000 each for librarians presenting on their work demonstrating the impact of academic libraries in the broader landscape of higher education.

“Academic librarians excel when communicating the impact of our library services, programs, and spaces, within our own community,” says Value of Academic Libraries Committee Chair Alan Carbery. To build on that “the Value of Academic Libraries Travel Scholarships initiative encourages librarians to move the conversation outward and to articulate the value of academic libraries to wider stakeholder groups. This is a fantastic opportunity for academic librarians to showcase their research to a wider audience.”

ACRL invites practicing librarians and information professionals to apply for funding to present their work at higher education conferences or disciplinary conferences where they will reach audiences outside the library field. The presentations may be based on practice-based work or formal research projects. Applications are now due December 15, 2017 (extended deadline). We expect to announce future rounds of scholarships in summer 2018.

This program is one of several developed by ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee to support librarians in their efforts to communicate to our partners in higher education including administrators, scholars, and teachers working in all disciplines. These travel scholarships support the community in taking up a recommendation from the new ACRL report Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research (prepared by OCLC Research and released in September 2017 for download or purchase) that academic librarians effectively communicate their contributions both up to institutional stakeholders and out to other departments.

Details on the Value of Academic Libraries Travel Scholarships, including how to apply, are available on the ACRL website.

ACRL Presents Webcast – The New Academic Library Impact Report (11/09)

Academic Library ImpactJoin us for the free ACRL Presents webcast, “The New Academic Library Impact Report,” on Thursday, November 9, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central time (9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Pacific | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Mountain | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Convert additional time zones online.)

Learn about ACRL’s new report, Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research, now available for download or purchase. 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.

Join ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries committee chair, the project director, and team members to hear about the context for this action-oriented research agenda and plans for future directions including new programs for travel scholarships and research mini-grants. This forum will allow community members to ask questions and give reactions to the report.

Presenters: Alan Carbery, associate library director at Champlain College and chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries committee; Lynn Silipigni Connaway, project director and senior research scientist at OCLC Research; and ACRL staff members Kara Malenfant and Sara Goek.

How to register: Submit your FREE registration online by noon Central time on Wednesday, November 8. Login details will be sent via email the afternoon of November 8. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Questions should be directed to sgoek@ala.org.

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.

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