One of the ongoing objectives of the VAL Committee is to “leverage existing research to articulate and promote the value of academic and research libraries.”  The Assessment in Action program provides opportunities for librarian-led teams to investigate and report on research they conducted on their campus.  These projects will not only contribute to the body of research, but also provide examples for other libraries who may wish to conduct similar studies.

On Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the first cohort of 75 11054451404_c313a4f6fd_mteams shared their project posters and provided examples of research conducted over the past year as part of their participation in  ACRL’s program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA).   The poster sessions were well attended and the quality of posters was excellent.  There is a wide range of projects conducted by librarian-led teams at their community colleges, colleges and universities and their projects examined the impact of the library (instruction, reference, collections, space, and more) on student learning/success.

 If you were not able to attend the poster sessions, you can read about their projects from the abstracts in the poster guide (pdf). Additionally, teams are submitting online final project reports, which will be analyzed and synthesized in a report released by ACRL later this year. The individual reports (including poster images) will also be available 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.



If you are planning on attending ALA in Las Vegas, the following sessions may be of interest to those of you following the VAL committee.

Assessment Project Posters will be available for viewing on two days:

  • Friday, June 27, 2:00 — 4:00 p.m. Bally’s Gold
  • Saturday, June 28, 8:30-10:30 a.m. Bally’s Skyview 6

Presented by the first participants in ACRL’s “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” program, made possible by IMLS. Librarian-led teams carried out assessment projects at their colleges and universities examining the impact of the library (instruction, reference, collections, space, and more) on student learning/success. In each session, part of the teams will present posters.  Poster abstracts will be uploaded before ALA and we will provide the URL in this blog when the posters are available. Additionally, teams will be submitting online final project reports, which will be analyzed and synthesized in a report released by ACRL later this summer. The individual reports will be available in a searchable online collection.

Update Session on Value of Academic Libraries Committee work

  • Sunday, June 29, 1:00 — 2:30  Convention Center N255

In this session we will provide updates on actions taken by the Value committee during the past year, including information on the 2nd cohort for the Assessment in Action program, questions from the audience and answers from the committee regarding the AiA program, and an introduction to a publicity campaign we will kick off at ALA.  We will share marketing posters that can be used and branded by academic libraries.  This project is an effort to provide publicity materials so that you can promote how your library adds value on your campus.  Each poster cites a research study that supports statements demonstrating how we contribute to student success.


In late February, the ACRL  Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force released the first draft of the much-anticipated Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Since then, bloggers have dissected the text, championing highlights and asking tough questions. Some key concepts, as shown through their words:

The Framework seeks to encourage value

“Though, as we partner more with faculty outside of the library, we will likely find more opportunities for reinvention and different ways to express our instructional “value.” -Nicole Pagowsky

“The section titled “Stakeholders” that begins on page 8 provides librarians with a convincing argument to work with faculty and other academic units.On the other hand, how many times must we prove ourselves? How many times must librarians attempt to partner with other academic units on campus, only to be rebuffed or ignored?” – Jacob Berg

“…when I was able to frame the lesson in terms of the research process as inquiry it all came together.” Andy Burkhardt on putting the Framework to the test with a new class and finding it helpful in making the research concepts “click”

The Framework fosters collaboration

Troy Swanson at Tame the Web  hopes that “librarians and faculty can… move past the one-shot session toward more meaningful pedagogical exchange. ”

But I do really love that this framework emphasizes the fact that information literacy instruction is not (and cannot be) the sole domain of librarians. I have always resisted the notion that we are the only people who can and do teach this, and I think in embracing this idea and focusing more of our energies in supporting disciplinary faculty teaching these skills, dispositions, etc. is vital in the current environment.” – Meredith Farkas

Questioning the terminology 

Donna Witek, a proponent of metaliteracy, questions the presence of the term in the Framework, “I don’t think metaliteracy should be elevated by name to the extent that it is in the new draft ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.”

“As I see it, the ACRL’s recognition of multiple literacies is long overdue. However, when looking at it from a sociocultural perspective, the ACRL’s metaliteracy cannot be viewed as a single unified literacy, but more as an integrated version of academic literacy. And metaliteracy should be viewed more as a learning outcome, rather than a learning objective.” – Amanda Hovious

“Doing a more thorough reading of the new ACRL #infolit framework. Love the concepts. Worried about jargon. Accessible to non-librarians?” – @mylibrarydude

The conversation about the Framework’s final version is just beginning

Many, including some of the bloggers mentioned above, have responded with questions, comments and ideas to ponder. When a group gathered to discuss the Framework at my library, we wondered what the faculty response would be. Are faculty going to be equal partners in this conversation? How do they feel about the threshold concepts? How open will they be to the collaborative assignments suggested in the draft? Is the presence of jargon an attempt to assert our place at the academic table? We concluded that it will be our job to help communicate the vision of this document, and hope that the final document is one that is based on a shared vision among all stakeholders.

The feedback survey is open until 5pm Central time tomorrow, Tuesday, April 15th, and more enjoyable to complete than your taxes.

Jaime Hammond
Naugatuck Valley Community College

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