An update on the work of the Value of Academic Libraries committee was presented at a Sunday afternoon forum at ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas. Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Melissa Bowles-Terry, incoming chair and vice-chair of the committee, shared information regarding the committee’s work and led a discussion about the Assessment in Action program. Highlights from the presentation included:

1. A Task Force on Standards for Proficiencies for Assessment Librarians and Coordinators has been formed with the charge:

To develop a list of proficiencies required of assessment librarians and other librarians who contribute to assessment programs at their institutions, focusing on broad areas of proficiency rather than a comprehensive list of skills; consider similar documents such as ACRL’s “Standards for Proficiencies for Instruction Librarians and Coordinators” and RUSA’s “Professional Competencies for Reference and User Services Librarians;” outline an approach to assist individuals and organizations in selecting the proficiencies most appropriate for their environment; and follow the standards development requirements in the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures.

2. We are preparing a poster campaign with posters that can be customized by any institution. Posters provide examples of the research that demonstrates library value, citing studies from the literature in higher education.

3. The first cohort of Assessment in Action participants presented posters at ALA Annual, and this fall ACRL will release their project descriptions as well as a paper synthesizing results of the first year of the program. The second cohort has begun its work, and those interested in participating in the third year of Assessment in Action should look for applications available in January 2015.

Thanks to those who attended the session, and especially to those who shared their experiences with Assessment in Action. If you missed the session, please see the slides below!

ACRL VAL Update, 2014 Annual, LasVegas

 

 

Assessment in Action LogoComing to the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas? Be sure to see assessment project posters presented by the first 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 75 teams will present posters during each time slot:

Assessment in Action: Year One Project Posters, Session I
Friday, June 27, 2014, 2-4pm
BALLY-Gold Room

Assessment in Action: Year One Project Posters, Session II
Saturday, June 28, 2014, 8:30-10:30am
BALLY-Skyview 6

Learn more about these assessment 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.

 

Assessment in Action LogoACRL has selected 73 institutional teams to participate in the second 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 34 states and 1 Canadian province. 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 the team composition, their readiness and the quality of their project goals. We also looked for strong institutional support to help the teams see their projects through to completion.” said Terri Fishel, vice chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee and library director at Macalester College. “The application reviewers sought action learning projects with the greatest potential to contribute to the greater library and higher education community.”

The proposed topics for selected institutions include:

  • How does use of the libraries’ online resources correlate with measures of student success such as higher retention rate and higher GPAs?
  • What are the most effective instructional methods for teaching evidence-based practice in health sciences curricula? How are outcomes different with traditional (face-to-face) library instruction and with a flipped classroom learning experience?
  • For non-traditional students in nursing and science classes, how effective are library interventions at meeting information literacy needs? How close is our institution to meeting the goal that all students are information literate upon graduation? What impact can the library claim?
  • Does the library program to support first-year experience (creating book displays on  multidisciplinary approaches identified in the General Studies curriculum and a corresponding assignment) help first-year students develop a basic understanding of our college’s approach to the liberal arts?
  • How much of an impact does the library space have on student learning? What is the nature of that impact and what is the value of different kinds of study space to our students, (individual v. collaborative, noisy v. quiet, and technology rich v. areas free of technology)?
  • Did IL instruction change student behavior during the research phase of each assignment? Did it contribute to student confidence and belief that they can succeed in college? Does increased individual contact with librarians impact their engagement in the research process?
  • Do undergraduate students enrolled in our English as a Second Language academic reading and writing course demonstrate improved academic level information literacy skills necessary for a successful transition to required Composition I after participation in the library’s information literacy program?
  • Given our university’s commitment to MOOC’s, how has the use of asynchronous video lectures impacted student success (with a focus on persistence) and content mastery, looking at asynchronous learning objects?

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 2015 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 2014-June 2015. 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.

“It is an honor to be working with librarian team leaders from such a diverse group of institutions pursuing these intriguing projects,” said Lisa Hinchliffe, co-lead facilitator in the AiA program and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “We are strongly committed to establishing an environment which supports the development of a community of practice and shared learning and look forward to building on the success of the first year of the AiA program with this set of participants.”

Learn more about the AiA program at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference during the session Update on Value of Academic Libraries Initiative on Sunday, June 29, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. and during poster sessions by first year participants on Friday, June 27, 2-4pm, and Saturday, June 28, 8:30-10:30am.

AiA is a three year program, and ACRL will be selecting additional institutions to participate in the 2015-2016 class. Stay tuned for an announcement in January 2015 with more details on how to apply for the next round.

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