This blog post is one in a series of posts discussing the library value work being done by the ACRL Liaisons to non-library higher education organizations. The following post from Lis Cabot who writes about her liaison work with the Council of Independent Colleges.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities that works to advance institutional quality and increase awareness of the contributions of small and mid-size private institutions to society.  ACRL has co-sponsored many initiatives with the CIC. The Council was a co-sponsor of ACRL’s IMLS grant in support of the Value of Academic Libraries initiative. CIC also offers scholarships for college library directors to attend the ALA Annual Conference.    As the ACRL Liaison to CIC, I attend an annual Chief Academic Officers Institute where I offer programming that highlights the contributions of academic libraries to institutional effectiveness. Recent institutes have included Chief Student Affairs Officers and Chief Financial Affairs Officers. I shared examples of CIC member libraries collaborative campus projects with the Chief Student Affairs Officers. As a major employer of student workers, academic libraries contribute to student retention and recruitment. Several libraries develop residence hall programming and cultural activities. I find these administrators to be very interested in evolving library services, resources, and physical spaces.

Academic officers tend to be natural supporters of libraries and look to librarians for evidence of our contributions to teaching and learning success, as well as to institutional mission.   They are keenly interested in collaborative initiatives whereby academic libraries partner with other campus units.   Deans and provosts frequently cite budget challenges and applaud our efforts in the areas of resource sharing and consortia initiatives.   CIC goals align nicely with ACRL’s Strategic Goals in the Plan for Excellence. CIC is interested in making the case for independent higher education and fostering institutional effectiveness. Academic libraries work to demonstrate alignment with institutional outcomes.   CIC also focuses on forming collaborations to create and strengthen institutional programs. ACRL and academic libraries seek to leverage partnerships in support of mutual goals. CIC assists institutions in improving their educational offerings, administrative and financial performance, and visibility. This focus aligns nicely with ACRL’s goal of accelerating the transition to a more open system of scholarship and promotion of new structures that reward and value open scholarship.

CIC has also offered an annual workshop on Information Fluency in the Disciplines. Teams of faculty, librarians, and academic administrators from CIC schools are selected to participate in the workshops. During the workshop, the institutional teams focus on the development of local initiatives that introduce and reinforce information fluency skills in academic programs and/or academic disciplines. I facilitate some of the working sessions at the workshop and work with individual teams. I enjoy working with the teams and field inquiries post-workshop from several participants. I highlighted ACRL’s work on revisions to the Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education at the workshops. I also co-presented on institutional approaches to “Developing Information Fluency Across the Four Years”. I highlight the collaborative approach we use at Ithaca College, engaging disciplinary faculty in the identification of core student learning outcomes linked to specific library resources and services. As a result of my participation the workshop, I have been invited to a CIC member campus to present on our approach and to work with a group of faculty and librarians.

I report on my CIC activities to the College Library Section’s Executive Committee at Midwinter and Annual Conferences.   I have also forwarded relevant information to ACRL’s Strategic Goal Committees.

The ACRL-CIC relationship continues to be an opportunity for collaboration and engagement.   Given that CIC member institutions are small to medium-sized colleges and universities, they naturally focus on creating a compelling undergraduate experience. CIC academic officers and faculty continue to welcome and support the contributions of their libraries.




During the Value of Academic Libraries update session at ALA in San Francisco, Jennifer Fabbi (Library Dean, CSU San Marcos) and Carole Huston (Associate Provost, University of San Diego) shared their experience assessing information literacy within the framework of the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The presentation as well as sample assignments and rubrics are available here:

Dr. Fabbi did the math for us on how libraries' contributions to accreditation add value

Dr. Fabbi did the math for us on how libraries’ contributions to accreditation processes add value

Assessment in Action: How do education majors create lesson plans?

 Assessment in Action, Communicating Value  Comments Off on Assessment in Action: How do education majors create lesson plans?
Jun 092015

The first participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action program presented results from their projects at poster sessions at ALA Annual in Las Vegas, and their results are also being disseminated in library publications and conference presentations. We’ re thrilled to see more value-related research making its way into the world, and will be featuring synopses of projects and a brief Q&A with team leaders here at the Value blog over the next year. You can also read full descriptive reports for this and other AiA projects, along with a synthesis of all the first year AiA projects

Education majors use Danielson’s Four Domains of Professional Practice as a framework for their lesson plans

Education faculty members and librarians at Elizabethtown College collaborated to explore the following inquiry question: How do education majors apply standard 3 of the ACRL information literacy standards to meet Domain 1 of Danielson’s Four Domains of Professional Practice in the creation of their lesson plans? After mapping these standards and creating a rubric to assess lesson plans, the AiA team scored lesson plans of recent college alums found in public e-portfolios and developed a survey sent to all senior education majors. Elizabethtown College encourages faculty to utilize e-portfolio software (Digication) to showcase “real-world learning,” one of the college’s strategic goals. By tying institutional goals to departmental and library goals, librarians have the opportunity to enhance student success and demonstrate the library’s value to the curriculum.

Elizabeth Young, Head of Readers' Services at Elizabethtown College

Elizabeth Young Miller, Head of Readers’ Services at Elizabethtown College

Q&A with Elizabeth Young Miller of High Library, Elizabethtown College

Q: What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?

A: Creating buy-in from others for the project proved quite challenging at times; this was largely due to changes in personnel over the course of the project.  As a result, I became creative and flexible, developing new partnerships.  In the end, it all worked out.

Q: What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on learning and success?

A: Before embarking on a large scale assessment project, I highly recommend choosing your partners wisely.  Collaborating with a department that you have successfully worked with before, that you know is dedicated to student success, and that is committed to the project at hand will make for a more meaningful project, worthy of your time and energy.

Q: What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action?

A: My confidence level for working on assessment projects has soared as a result of participating in Assessment in Action (AiA).  As part of the project, our team designed a rubric and survey.  Not only did I collect feedback from colleagues at my institution, but also from AiA cohort members.  I received valuable training on analyzing data, which I was able to put into practice.  All of these experiences have made me feel more comfortable designing assessment metrics, which I have done since the completion of the AiA project.

For more information on Elizabethtown College’s AiA Project, check out the following LibGuide (

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