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. A little later in 2014, you’ll also be able to read a full descriptive report for this and other AiA projects, along with a synthesis of all the first year AiA projects. Stay tuned for an announcement on the VAL blog.

The Impact of Library Games on the Information Confidence of UNIV100 Freshmen, Radford University

Questions for the Project: After ten years of use in the UNIV100 Freshman Orientation course, does the library game positively impact a student’s information confidence? If so, is the Library Challenge Game or the Mobile Scavenger Hunt the most effective? Information confidence is the ability to overcome one’s reluctance to use library services and resources, known to affect a student’s academic success.

Eric Ackermann, Head of Reference Services and Library Assessment at McConnell Library, Radford University

Eric Ackermann, Head of Reference Services and Library Assessment at McConnell Library, Radford University

Q&A with Eric Ackermann, Head of Reference Services & Library Assessment

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

A: Finding the appropriate match between what we wanted to know and what was practical or feasible to know. In other words, adjusting the ambitions or expectations for what one will learn from an assessment project to what one has the ability or resources to actually learn from it.

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

A: Develop and maintain a good working relationship with your institutional research unit (or academic assessment unit if a separate entity). It will repay your efforts handsomely in many ways. For example, terms of valuable statistical advice and developing your quantitative expertise, access to student data within acceptable legal practices, and building a positive reputation for the library as an active participant in what is important on your campus.

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

A: An enhanced appreciation of the importance of the ability to communication your findings to a disparate group of potential stakeholders in a way that is both understandable and useful to each of them.

 

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.

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