Category Archives: Value of Academic Libraries

Update on ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Initiative at ALA MW

Join ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee for an update session on the Value of Academic Libraries initiative during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Mass., on Sunday, January 10, 2016, 1:00 – 2:30 PM, in the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Room 253 C. Learn about a proposed new objective for ACRL’s strategic plan, the Plan for Excellence, to demonstrate how libraries advance issues of equity, access, institutional diversity, and inclusion.

In this session, four librarians will present examples of library programs that advance these issues and add value by contributing to university or college goals specifically regarding equity, access to college, and inclusion. They are:

  • Juleah Swanson, Head of Acquisitions Services, University of Colorado Boulder Libraries
  • Linda A. Kopecky, Head, Research Services, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries
  • Jaime Hammond, Director, Naugatuck Valley Community College Library
  • Melissa Bowles-Terry, Head of Educational Initiatives, University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries

We hope this panel will start a conversation among librarians and library staff about this potential new strategic objective related to the Value of Academic Libraries.

AiA Projects Advance Assessment, Student Learning and Success

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.

AiA teams continue to show very promising results about which aspects of the library (e.g., collections, space, instruction, reference, etc.) have the strongest positive effect on student learning or success (e.g., retention, completion, persistence). The AiA librarian team leaders are also mastering the skills and capacity needed to assume leadership roles on campus for local data-informed and evidence-based decision making. Learn more about results from the wealth of AiA campus-based projects and the experiences of leading assessment teams through the following venues.

  • AiA Librarian Team Leader Profiles: ACRL’s Value of Libraries Committee continues to profile AiA team leaders on the VAL blog. Read reflections on challenges, greatest learning, and recommendations for others.
  • AiA Project Reports and Posters: The searchable online collection of individual AiA team project reports, poster abstracts and images contains detailed information about the projects of first and second year teams. This online collection contains library value approaches, practices, and tools that can be replicated in a variety of higher education settings.
  • AiA Project Synthesis: A report synthesizing the second year AiA projects and leadership of campus assessment teams will be coming out later this year. For the first year synthesis, see full report and executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders.
  • Comprehensive Bibliography: Later this fall, look for a comprehensive listing of dozens of journal articles, conference presentations and other public reports by AiA campus team members, facilitators, and ACRL staff.
  • 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 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.

We hope that sharing these AiA project results inspires others to act as leaders in advancing student learning and assessment on their campuses.

“Assessment in Action” Project Posters at ALA Annual Conference

Assessment in Action LogoComing to the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco? 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 64 teams will present posters during each time slot:

Assessment in Action: Second Year Project Posters, Session I
Friday, June 26, 2015, 2-4:00pm
Moscone Convention Center, 3006 (W)

Assessment in Action: Second Year Project Posters, Session II
Saturday, June 27, 2015, 8:30-10:30am
Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Imperial B

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 is undertaking 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, is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Teams Selected for Third Year of ACRL “Assessment in Action” Learning Community

Assessment in Action LogoACRL has selected 55 institutional teams to participate in the third year of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA). The program is made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and carried out in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The teams, representing all types of institutions, come from 24 states, the District of Columbia and Australia. For a list of currently confirmed institutions, see the AiA program webpage.

In their applications each institution identified a team, consisting of a librarian and at least two additional team members as determined by the campus (e.g., faculty member, student affairs representative, institutional researchers or academic administrator). They also identified goals for their action learning projects.

“The top applications were distinguished by a clear connection between the team’s project goals and institutional priorities as well as strong institutional commitment to support the team’s project during the course of the AiA program,” said Lynn Silipigni Connaway, vice chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee and senior research scientist at OCLC.

The proposed topics for selected institutions include:

  • Does the point-of-need integration of library instructional materials and services into the blended learning environment improve the quality of nontraditional student papers in undergraduate courses with a research component?
  • What is the contribution of the library internship program on student learning and career development?
  • What impact can an enhanced library program based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy have in curricular experiments designed to develop knowledge, skills, and habits of mind?
  • How do students’ co-curricular interests (leadership, entrepreneurship, service, etc.) impact the perceived importance or satisfaction with the library’s services, collections, and facility?
  • What is the impact of an information literacy instructional program for students preparing for an experiential learning experience, co-op? What is the perceived application of information literacy skills by both employers and students on co-op, and what is the relationship to student retention?
  • Can we find a correlation with students’ library usage and student success (grades, retention, and completion rates)? What relationships will we find by incorporating library data points (reference interactions, physical space usage, instruction sessions, library research consultations, and collection usage) into the customer relationship management tool currently used by key departments on campus such as advising, financial aid, and student communication?
  • Do students who attend research data services workshops and/or data management classes demonstrate improved knowledge of and practice of effective data management practices following training/instruction? How does students’ work with data, data sets, and/or databases in analog and/or digital form affect their ability to think administratively, critically, pragmatically, and technically about how they use, manage, and store data? How does access and use of collaborative research data infrastructure impact student’s capacity for and effectiveness in working within research teams?

To ensure project results are disseminated to the broader community, each institutional team will submit a final report and each librarian team leader will prepare and deliver a poster at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference. The AiA program, part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, employs a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network over the course of the 14-month long program, which runs from April 2015-June 2016. The librarians will participate as cohort members in a one-year professional development program that includes team-based activities carried out on their campuses. An important component of the AiA program is establishing a learning community where librarian team leaders have the freedom to connect, risk, and learn together.

“The variety of projects and diversity of institutions is inspiring,” said Lisa Hinchliffe, co-lead facilitator in the AiA program and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It is an honor to be working with such dedicated librarian team leaders, and the facilitators are pleased to see the AiA community of practice continue to develop and grow with this third year of participants.”

Strong results from AiA teams are already evident in the January report synthesizing more than 70 projects from the first year with an accompanying executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders and a searchable online collection of individual team project descriptions. A second year of AiA is well underway with an additional 70 institutional teams who will be submitting their final reports in June and presenting posters at the ALA Annual Conference in 2015.

AiA is a three-year program, and ACRL will use this third year of the AiA grant to inform how it can best support the community in developing and carrying out assessment projects going forward. The IMLS grant funded the majority of the costs for developing the AiA program and for delivering it the first two years. The third year of the grant marks a transition year to determine if this program is sustainable or if other models better address the needs of the community.

Assessment in Action application extended to March 25, 2015

Assessment in Action LogoThe application deadline for the ACRL program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA), has been extended to 5 p.m. Central, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

Explore how your library contributes to student success during this 14-month program, made possible by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and described on the ACRL website. Librarians from the successful applicants will each lead a campus team in developing and implementing an action learning project which examines the impact of the library on student success and contributes to assessment activities on campus. The librarian team leaders will be supported in this work by a professional development program with sequenced learning events and activities at key junctures. The AiA program, a cornerstone of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, employs a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network. It is undertaken by ACRL in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

Institutions that participated previously in AiA may apply to participate a second time, or institutions applying for the first time may submit two applications for two teams and projects. In the first essay describing the proposed project, they should explain briefly why a second team/project would be helpful to their institution.

ACRL is now offering up to 20 scholarships that would underwrite half of the $1200 registration fee. Scholarships will be awarded to institutions that have demonstrated the strongest commitment to support the team’s project over the course of the AiA program and the clearest connection between the team’s project goals and institutional priorities. On the application form, each applicant will be asked to indicate whether their institution is seeking a scholarship.

ACRL will use this third year of the AiA grant to inform how it can best support the community in developing and carrying out assessment projects going forward. The IMLS grant covered the majority of the costs for developing the AiA program and for delivering it the first two years. The third year of the grant marks a transition year to determine if this program is sustainable or if other models better address the needs of the community.

Learn more about the program in from the recording / presentation slides of an online open forum held February 10 for prospective applicants. Strong results from AiA teams are already evident in the recently released report synthesizing more than 70 projects from the first year with an accompanying executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders and a searchable online collection of individual team project descriptions. A second year of AiA is well underway with an additional 70 institutional teams.

Read full details about participating in the third year and apply online by 5 p.m. Central, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Applicants will be notified of their status by COB Friday, April 17. Contact ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives Kara Malenfant with questions.

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