Category Archives: Value of Academic Libraries

ACRL Seeks Curriculum Designer/Presenters for New Learning Opportunities on Assessment

ACRL is accepting applications from prospective curriculum designer/presenters to contribute to creating two (and possibly more) new learning opportunities on assessing library impact, building on the work of the ACRL program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). First, a day-long workshop is being designed to provide professional development support to librarians who wish to know more about creating a plan to assess one particular program or service in their library. The focus is on understanding library contributions to institutional priorities for student learning and success and any aspect of the library can be the focus of inquiry. Second, the selected designer/presenters will work on a new approach that aims to support library leaders – deans and directors – in communicating about library impact with campus decision makers through a half-day guided discussion format. Both of these new events will be piloted in conjunction with the ACRL 2017 conference. Online content will be created to complement these two in person events and may include stand-alone webinars as well.

The selected designer/presenters will join the team of continuing facilitators from the AiA program, which is the foundation of these new learning opportunities. Continuing AiA facilitators are Karen Brown, Professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University, IL; Eric Resnis, who serves in a dual appointment as Assessment Coordinator in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and University Assessment and as Organizational Effectiveness Specialist in the Libraries at Miami University in Oxford, OH; Debra Gilchrist, Vice President for Learning and Student Success, Pierce College, WA; and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Coordinator for Information Literacy and Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The designer/presenters will rely on a group of member leaders from the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee as reflector/consultants to the curriculum during the design process.

The day long in-person workshop is intended to be offered upon request on a licensed basis, as with the existing ACRL workshops Planning, Assessing, and Communicating Library Impact: Putting the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education into Action and Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement. The half-day guided discussion for library administrators will likely take a different approach. Online offerings would be part of ACRL’s regular eLearning program and could include a multi-week asynchronous course and one or more topical webcasts of 60-90 minutes each in an interactive online classroom.

Required Qualifications
The successful curriculum designer/presenters must be conversant with issues and challenges of libraries in higher education. They must possess:

  • Membership in ACRL.
  • Experience working in academic or research libraries.
  • Experience serving as conveners and facilitators of educational activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and deliver events, activities, and modules that are experiential, support action learning, and foster reflection among learners.
  • An ability to foster connections and create learning environments in which participants can exchange ideas and share experiences and information.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work with diverse group members, and commitment to developing strong, collegial relationships with members of the curriculum design team and the participants.
  • Rich knowledge of the dynamic nature of higher education assessment, including a keen awareness of the forces outside the sector driving for greater accountability.
  • Working knowledge of the issues and challenges of libraries in higher education, including dynamic relationships of campus units and their interactions.

Candidates should highlight additional qualifications in areas such as:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of multiple assessment methods, both quantitative and qualitative, data collection strategies, and analytical techniques.
  • Experience analyzing existing administrative data which emanates from different campus units (i.e., libraries and office of institutional research).
  • Experience designing protocols and gathering new data through questionnaires, semi structured interviews, and focus groups.
  • Adeptness at communicating and presenting assessment project results.

We encourage applications from individuals representing the full array of professional areas and services in academic and research librarianship.

Preferred Qualification
Participation as a team leader or team member in the ACRL program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success is preferred. The success of the applicant’s own AiA project is not a determining factor in the selection. We seek colleagues who learned from their project, analyzed results for cultural, strategic, and assessment challenges, and are helping their library move forward with assessment.

Expectations
The content for both events is dynamic and evolving, and the new designer/presenters will participate in shaping the curriculum as collegial partners with the continuing AiA facilitators.

Successful curriculum designer/presenters must be:

  • Available to participate in design and planning during monthly one hour conference calls.
  • Available to work on curriculum design from August 2016-February 2017.
  • Available to participate in the pilot events in March 2017 and deliver a minimum of two in person events per year, thereafter, in the field.
  • Able to participate in a training session, currently being created, for presenters of all ACRL professional development licensed workshops.

In addition to the above, serving as a curriculum designer/presenter involves participating in all segments of the new learning opportunities and development of materials, exercises and presentations. Additionally, it will involve coaching and training new presenters to deliver the curriculum, once it is developed. This may include presenting the revision and future development of materials, exercises and presentations.

Designer/facilitators will receive a small stipend for this planning work and pilot delivery. ACRL reimburses presenters of all its licensed workshops for travel costs associated with the workshop (flights, hotel, ground transportation, and per diem for meals) and provides a modest honorarium.

Apply
To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A statement addressing the aforementioned qualifications, as well as the following questions (two pages max.):
    1. Why do you want to be a developer and presenter for this workshop and guided discussion?
    2. What experience do you have designing professional development ?
    3. Are there any additional relevant experiences of which you would like us to be aware?
    4. Are there videos or other materials that demonstrate your talents as an educator/trainer?
  2. Your resume.
  3. The names and contact information for 2 references who have direct knowledge of your educator/training experience.
  4. The single PDF application must submitted via email by 5 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, July 14, to Jaime Hammond, vice-chair of the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee, at JHammond@nvcc.commnet.edu.

The ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee has formed a small review team, separate from the continuing AiA facilitators, to consider applications. The process includes checking references and a telephone (or Skype) interview. The group will select the designer/presenters and notify all applicants by Thursday, August 11.

If you have questions of any kind, don’t hesitate to contact Jaime Hammond at JHammond@nvcc.commnet.edu.

“Assessment in Action” Project Posters at ALA Annual Conference

Assessment in Action LogoComing to the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando? Be sure to see assessment project posters presented by the second year participants in ACRL’s program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success”(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. Part of the 48 teams will present posters during each time slot:

Assessment in Action: Third Year Project Posters, Session I
Friday, June 24, 2016, 2-4:00pm
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Regency Ballroom Q

Assessment in Action: Third Year Project Posters, Session II
Saturday, June 25th, 2016, 8:30-10:30am
Hilton Orlando, Florida Ballroom 1-3

Learn more about these assessment projects from the abstracts in the poster guide (pdf). Additionally, teams are submitting online posters and final project reports, which will be analyzed and synthesized in a report released by ACRL later this year. The individual reports and poster images will be available later this summer in a searchable online collection.

ACRL has undertaken AiA in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The program, a cornerstone of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, was made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Request for Proposals: Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

ACRL seeks proposals for the design, development, and delivery of a new ACRL “Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success.” With oversight from the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Committee and input from appropriate ACRL staff, the selected researcher(s) will investigate and write a research agenda that provides an update on progress since the publication of Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report and examines important questions where more research is needed in areas critical to the higher education sector. The focus of the research agenda will be on institutional priorities for improved student learning and success (i.e., retention, persistence, degree completion).

This action-oriented research agenda will be informed by scholarly literature as well as advances in practice, such as those documented by participants in the Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success program. The goals of the research agenda include: a) directly communicate the ways in which libraries align with and have impact on institutional effectiveness, and b) engage in language around student learning and success that resonates with higher education stakeholders.

Work will begin in late July 2016 with a final document of publishable quality, 60-100 pages in length, due by May 1, 2017. Read more about project objectives and scope along with proposal specifications in the full request for proposals. Proposals are due by June 2, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. (CDT).

ACRL Report Shows Compelling Evidence of Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success

report cover April2016A new report issued by ACRL, “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects,” shows compelling evidence for library contributions to student learning and success. The report focuses on dozens of projects conducted as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) by teams that participated in the second year of the program, from April 2014 to June 2015. Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports (fully searchable online) and using past findings from projects completed during the first year of the AiA program as context, the report identifies strong evidence of the positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas:

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  2. Library use increases student success. Students who use the library in some way (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) achieve 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, and retention).
  4. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.

The three-year AiA program is helping over 200 postsecondary institutions of all types create partnerships at their institution to promote library leadership and engagement in campus-wide assessment. Each participating institution establishes a team with a lead librarian and at least two colleagues from other campus units. Team members frequently include 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 lead their campus teams in the development and implementation of a project that aims to contribute to assessment activities at their institution.

“The findings about library impact in each of the four areas described above are particularly strong because they consistently point to the library as a positive influencing factor on students’ academic success,” said  Karen Brown, who prepared the report and is a professor at Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science. “This holds true across different types of institutional settings and with variation in how each particular program or service is designed.”

In addition, there is building evidence of positive library impact in five areas, although they have not been studied as extensively or findings may not be as consistently strong:

  • Student retention improves with library instructional services.
  • Library research consultation services boost student learning.
  • 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.

In addition to findings about library impact, participant reflections reveal that a collaborative team-based approach on campus is an essential element of conducting an assessment project and planning for subsequent action. Kara Malenfant, contributor to the report and a senior staff member at ACRL, noted, “The benefits of having diverse team members working together are clear. They achieve common understanding about definitions and attributes of academic success, produce meaningful measures of student learning, align collaborative assessment activities with institutional priorities, create a unified campus message about student learning and success, and focus on transformative and sustainable change.”

Read more in the full report “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects.” The executive summary is available as a separate document, formatted to share broadly with campus stakeholders.

Join a free ACRL Presents live webcast to hear more from the report authors on Monday, May 9, from 1:00 — 2:00 p.m. Central time (11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pacific | 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Mountain | 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Central | 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern.  Convert additional time zones online.) Submit your free registration online by Friday May 6, 2016. Login details will be sent via email the afternoon of May 6. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Register for March 24 C&RL forum on Assessment in Action special issue

C&RL Journal LogoCollege & Research Libraries Forum on Assessment in Action Special Issue

Live Thursday, March 24, 2016 – 12pm Pacific | 1pm Mountain | 2pm Central | 3pm Eastern

Length: 60 minutes

Register to receive reminders and information and/or view the forum live on YouTube.

Join us for a free, live panel discussion on Action Research with authors of articles in the March 2016 College & Research Libraries special issue on the ACRL Assessment in Action (AiA) program. AiA lead co-facilitator and issue co-editor Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe will introduce the Forum. Brandy Whitlock and Nassim Ebrahimi will speak about their study: “Beyond the Library: Using Multiple, Mixed Measures Simultaneously in a College-Wide Assessment of Information Literacy,” and Phil Jones, Julia Bauder, and Kevin Engel will speak about their research: “Mixed or Complementary Messages: Making the Most of Unexpected Assessment Results.”

This C&RL Forum is your chance to engage live with the authors and have your questions answered. The discussion will be hosted in Google Hangouts and broadcast on YouTube. You will be able to view them at either location.

College & Research Libraries is the official scholarly research journal of the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Hashtag: #crlassess

Panelists:

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe: Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction, University of Illinois
Julia Bauder: Interim Librarian of the College, Grinnell College
Nassim Ebrahimi: Associate Vice President of Institutional Research, Effectiveness and Planning, Baltimore City Community College
Kevin Engel: Science Librarian, Grinnell College
Phil Jones: Humanities Librarian and Coordinator of Research Services, Grinnell College
Brandy Whitlock: Professor and Instruction Librarian, Andrew G. Truxal Library, Anne Arundel Community College

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