Share the VAL – Orlando 2016

 Assessment in Action, Communicating Value, Events  Comments Off on Share the VAL – Orlando 2016
Jun 292016

ALA Annual in Orlando was another great opportunity for members of the Value of Academic Libraries Committee (VAL), Assessment in Action (AiA) alums as well as facilitators, and many others to discuss the work we’ve been doing and collaborate on ways we can continue to move forward. Established in 2010, VAL is a multifaceted project intended to empower academic librarians with data and methods for demonstrating library value relative to institutional goals and objectives.

One of the key VAL initiatives over the last few years has been AiA. In 2012 ACRL was awarded a three-year National Leadership Demonstration Grant of $249,330 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the program. The grant supported the design, implementation and evaluation of a program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. AiA is now wrapping up the final year.

A few photos from the Assessment in Action Project Posters sessions Friday June 24th & Saturday June 25th.

AiA Poster Session - Photo courtesy of Karen Brown

AiA Poster Session – Photo courtesy of Karen Brown








AiA Poster photo courtesy of Hope Houston

AiA Poster photo courtesy of Hope Houston









AiA Poster Session - Photo courtesy of Elise Ferer

AiA Poster Session – Photo courtesy of Elise Ferer















AiA was developed in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and remains a cornerstone of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative.  If you’re interested in learning more about any of the AiA projects check out our searchable AiA project site.

On Friday June 24th VAL AiA alums, facilitators and Committee members held our first “Assessment in Action Alumni Community of Practice” unconference where we discussed what we have learned over the last three years and how we can build on AiA moving forward.

“Assessment in Action Alumni Community of Practice” Unconference - Photo via Shawn P. Calhoun

“Assessment in Action Alumni Community of Practice” Unconference – Photo via Shawn P. Calhoun













On Saturday June 25th Debbie L. Malone and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe presented highlights of recent VAL work and the initiatives the committee has planed for the future (powerpoint download >> VAL Update session for ALA Annual 2016).

Deb Malone - “Update on the Value of Academic Libraries” Photo via Shawn P. Calhoun

Deb Malone – “Update on the Value of Academic Libraries” Photo via Shawn P. Calhoun

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe - “Update on the Value of Academic Libraries” Photo via Shawn P. Calhoun

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe – “Update on the Value of Academic Libraries” Photo via Shawn P. Calhoun













If you have any questions about VAL/AiA contact one of the 2016 incoming VAL committee Chair Jaime Corris Hammond or Vice-Chair Alan Carbery and please check out the VAL website for more!

Update from the ACRL Liaison to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)

 Communicating Value, General  Comments Off on Update from the ACRL Liaison to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI)
May 242016

ACRL recognizes the importance of enabling librarians to be change agents in higher education, and of promoting the library’s role in advancing the teaching, learning, and research missions of our institutions. One of ACRL’s approaches to building awareness and activism is the network of ACRL liaisons assigned to external, non-library organizations across a range of topics.

When the ACRL liaison to the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) position opened, I was particularly intrigued because it connects two organizations for which I have great respect, and is an opportunity to have a positive impact beyond my institution alone. I was honored to be selected; my new appointment as the ACRL/ELI Liaison commenced officially on July 1, 2015. The ELI leaders – Malcolm Brown and Veronica Diaz, the Director and Associate Director respectively – were eager to begin discussions immediately and we developed a list of ideas for exploration in the coming year. Those ideas were further vetted with others in the library community, including the members of the ACRL Student Learning & Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) that sponsored my liaison assignment.

First Steps

When we began discussions, our initial goal was to discover where the two organization’s activities and priorities intersect and how best to engage our members with each other. One interesting difference is that ACRL is largely based on individual memberships while ELI is based on institutional memberships. If you aren’t certain if your institution is a member of ELI, you can search their member directory at:

I was familiar with the well-known “7 Things You Should Know” series, and learned about the “7 Things You Should Read” series with recent topics such as data visualization for instruction, personalized learning models, copyright in online education, and digital divides and today’s technologies. ELI leaders recognize the content expertise and research prowess of librarians and are open to new ways of working together to continue to support these series. If you have ideas about hot topics or are personally interested in contributing, please let me know. See “7 Things” publications at:

ELI’s annual survey of key issues in teaching and learning often include areas of shared interest with libraries such as academic transformation, faculty development, assessment of learning, digital and information literacies, accessibility, learning space designs, online and blended learning, and open textbooks and open educational resources. ELI uses these themes as the focal points for upcoming publications, online programming, and conference tracks, and ACRL members likely see connections to projects, services, and research of their own. See the “2016 ELI Key Issues” at:

One special initiative is called “Leading Academic Transformation,” an ELI community of practice formed around the idea that collaborative innovation is required to realize true academic transformation. All institutions are encouraged to create a cohort on their campus with senior leaders from libraries, academic affairs, centers for teaching and learning, information technology, innovation strategy, instructional technology, and student services. This model is an excellent way to create an intentional network on your campus if you don’t already have these connections formed. See more at:

ELI Annual Meeting

I attended the ELI Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas in February 2016 called “Crafting Our Future: Toward New Digital Learning Environments.”  The ELI conference is primarily attended by educational technologists, instructional designers, IT administrators, student services staff, and faculty, though of course there were other intrepid librarians also.

Following tradition, the “2016 NMC Horizon Report – Higher Education edition” was released during the conference and provided a broad framework for discussing current trends, significant challenges, and important developments in higher education ( This spring ACRL announced it would be a dissemination partner for the “2017 NMC Horizon Report – Library edition” at the 2017 ACRL National Conference – that is an exciting development.

With encouragement from the ELI leaders and ACRL SLILC members, I developed a poster session with Sharon Mader, ACRL’s Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy, called “Digital Learning Environments Demand New Partnerships for Teaching.” We used the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education as a foundation for discussing content, pedagogies, and partnerships. The poster session was a great way to share recent ACRL work and discuss the roles of librarians and libraries more generally. You can see our handout at:

Informal conversations with other attendees covered a range of topics such as alt-media services, accessibility, faculty and instructor development, support for course and assignment design and assessment, and learning analytics. Frequently the conversation would end with the person saying that they wished their librarian was interested in the issue we were discussing, and I would tell them enthusiastically that I suspect that they are. I encouraged people to return to campus and contact their library director or head of library instruction; when I knew a library contact at their institution I mentioned them by name. This experience reminded me of the need to reach out to potential campus partners frequently and with some specific ideas about topics that I know are relevant to us both such as student learning, pedagogy, instructional practices, learning environments, and responsive programs with and for faculty/instructors.   I share that same reminder with you and encourage you to start new conversations with campus colleagues or perhaps even expand the breadth of issues you discuss with long-time partners.

I look forward to continuing the conversations with ELI and figuring out further ways to engage. I continue my liaison role for two more years, and I welcome your ideas and email any time.

Elizabeth A. Dupuis
Associate University Librarian for Educational Initiatives & User Services
Director of Doe, Moffitt, and the Subject Specialty Libraries
University of California, Berkeley
May 22, 2016


Update from the ACRL Liaison to SCUP

 Communicating Value, Events, General  Comments Off on Update from the ACRL Liaison to SCUP
Apr 182016

Libraries continue to be a topic of discussion among members of the Society for College and University Planners [SCUP]. As ACRL’s liaison to SCUP, I attended the 50th annual SCUP International Conference [July 11-15, 2015, Chicago, IL] and most recently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference [March 30-April1, Newark, Delaware]. I also was delighted to be part of a team that received SCUP’s 2014-15 M. Perry Chapman Prize, supported by The Hideo Sasaki Foundation, and presented results of its funded research at both conferences. Here, I offer a few insights about interest in libraries shared by architects, designers, planners, academic administrators, vendors and faculty also participating in SCUP activities.

The Annual conference last year celebrated SCUP’s half century during which its membership grew from 311 to over 5,300. It was comforting to learn from among its commemorative activities that the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan was designated as the permanent home for SCUP’s archives and that this recognized the value to future researchers of evidence of SCUP’s contributions in the evolution of higher education planning.

Libraries were included in several conference activities. They are increasingly seen as dynamic venues in planning change on campuses, primarily in redesign of their physical presence, but also they are becoming associated with challenges of planning for management of “big data.” For example, among merit awards for excellence in architecture, Williams College was commended for its Sawyer Library [designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson]. Conference sponsors featured libraries in their advertisements [e.g. renovation of Brown University’s John Hay Library [Shawmut Design and Construction] and University of Southern New Hampshire’s Library Learning Commons [Perry Dean Architects], and vendors promoted products for planners involved in re-inventing campus libraries. Libraries were featured on conference tours [e.g. DePaul University’s Richardson Library and the Chicago Theological Seminary at the University of Chicago]. At least four conference sessions focused on libraries, typically presented by architects, planners and/or librarians. Georgia Tech was focus of two discussions about the re-design of academic libraries and the value of aesthetics in stimulating creativity; the New York Public Library illustrated importance of grounding community for life-long learning nourished by open digital resources.

With my co-recipients of the Chapman Prize, W. Michael Johnson and Michael Khoo, I presented results of our research at a well-attended session entitled, “Measuring Patterns of Student Interactions to Improve Learning Environments by Design.” The interactive presentation generated interest in the “Proxmap” approach we developed that gathers quantitative data through processing video images of student behaviors in informal learning spaces that in turn we propose are useful for assessment of designed spaces as related to learning. Throughout the year-long inquiry we maintained a blog and our final report is now available through SCUP, see: . Michael Johnson and I gave a variation of our presentation during the Mid-Atlantic Regional conference and were encouraged by even more questions and feedback about possible applications as well as interest to extend our applied research. A proposal for presenting another look at our research has been accepted for delivery at the 51st Annual SCUP Conference to be held in July 2016 in Vancouver, BC Canada.

I am also pleased to report that librarians have been associated, among academic planners, with addressing challenges of managing data. I was invited to present an opening overview of the future of data for a one-day symposium that the SCUP Mid-Atlantic Region is hosting in May in Baltimore on “Big Data: Academy Research, Facilities, and Infrastructure Implications and Opportunities.” I look forward to participating in this program that will also feature my co-presenter T. Scott Plutchak, Director, Digital Data Curation Strategies, University of Alabama at Birmingham [formerly director of its medical libraries], Sayeed Choudhury, Associate Dean, Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University, and Philip Bourne, First Associate Director for Data Science, National Institutes of Health, among others. For more information or to pre-register see

I recommend SCUP events and publications to academic librarians. It is always stimulating and informative to engage with professionals from other disciplines and backgrounds. Those who focus on academic planning and campus design issues are kindred spirits and welcome learning more about libraries and our strategies for addressing challenges of common interest—improving the student experience, advancing research, practicing integrated planning, designing and building infrastructures in higher education to name a few. I continue to be impressed by the diverse expertise among participants in SCUP and the high quality of its numerous venues around North America.  I appreciate the privilege of representing ACRL and advancing librarianship within SCUP, and urge others to share the pleasure of doing so by participating in its international or regional conferences or contributing to its communications.

Danuta A. Nitecki
Dean of Libraries and Professor, College of Computing and Informatics,
Drexel University
April 8, 2016

© 2014 ACRL Value of Academic Libraries Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha