Value of Academic Libraries: Sessions of Interest at ACRL Conference 2015

 Events  Comments Off on Value of Academic Libraries: Sessions of Interest at ACRL Conference 2015
Mar 182015

The upcoming ACRL Conference in Portland, Oregon offers a host of wonderful learning opportunities and exciting events. We want to highlight here sessions that focus on demonstrating the value of libraries and our role in meeting institutional strategic goals.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

ACRL Environmental Scan Discussion Forum, 8:00 AM – 9:AM, Oregon Convention Center, Room D1380140

A distinguished panel will review and discuss ACRL’s latest environmental scan, developed by ACRL’s Research Planning and Review Committee. The 2015 environmental scan presents the most significant changes taking place in higher education and identifies trends that will define the future of academic and research librarianship and the research environment.

The Signal and the Noise: Libraries and the Politics of Institutional Data, 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM, Oregon Convention Center, Room E141-143

Discover how to play a leading role in developing a strategic data analytics program at your institution, how to overcome institutional culture challenges, and how to assess your institution’s readiness to create a proactive, effective institutional data program.

Sustainably Supporting Assessment Work with Communities of Practice, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, Oregon Convention Center, Room F151-152

The session brings together five librarians to discuss their recent projects assessing student success and learning, as well as the communities of practice – – the ACRL Assessment in Action learning community environment and cohort group, plus local campus teams – – in which they worked and found support. Join this session to explore meaningful ways communities of practice can enhance your work and identify strategies for creating your own communities to sustainably support assessment initiatives.

Snapshot or Big Picture: Assessing Student Learning using the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Oregon Convention Center, Room B115-116

How does the new, highly conceptualized Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education impact assessment of student learning in academic libraries? How can librarians translate threshold concepts into outcomes, assessment methods, and results that demonstrate library value? This workshop will provide practical examples and strategies librarians can use to update their assessment practices and align them with the new Framework.

Saving Our Students: Higher Education Affordability Issues and the Expanding Role of Libraries with Open Educational Resources, 1:00 PM – 2:00PM, Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom 252

Please join us for a panel presentation from three large, public University Libraries that are developing open educational resources (OER) programs and collections to improve affordability for students and enhance learning. Panelists will share ways they are engaging faculty on issues of textbook affordability, debunking myths about OERs, and developing programs to support the creation, use and adoption of OERs. Attendees will leave the session with actionable ways to develop programs at their institutions.

ACRL 75th Anniversary Invited Panel – New Roles for the Road Ahead, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom, 252-258

ACRL’s 75th Anniversary is a time to look at the changing nature of academic libraries. Three librarians from different sectors of the profession joined forces on essays exploring emerging issues across a diverse collection of topics, from learning to technology to community. Join them and CLIR’s Chuck Henry for a lively conversation about what new roles academic librarians might take on to shape a sustainable higher education landscape, informed and enriched by enduring library values.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Putting the ‘Research’ in the Association of College & Research Libraries: 75 Years of “College & Research Libraries” and other ACRL Research Programs, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM, Oregon Convention Center, room C123-124

Join us for a wide –ranging discussion of the role of the ACRL in promoting research and practice in academic librarianship, trends in the literature that have proven of enduring concern to our field, and the complementary roles of LIS programs, professional associations, and libraries in providing continuing professional education for librarians as researchers. During this panel, Jim Neal and Megan Oakleaf will also discuss the contributions to the 75th anniversary issue of College & Research Libraries, and panelists will engage attendees in a discussion of the future of ACRL research efforts.

Promoting Sustainable Research Practices Through Effective Data Management, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM, Oregon Convention Center, Room A105-106

Learn how three academic librarians each developed a strategy for data management instruction in different contexts. Hear about the challenges encountered and successes achieved in providing a graduate course, a workshop for librarians, and a workshop series for graduate students at three public universities. Discover how we aligned our instructional design and techniques, learning outcomes, and instructional materials to our audience, assessed our effectiveness, and what we’ll do differently next time.

Cultivating Sustainable Library Publishing Services: Perspectives from a Range of Academic Libraries, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Oregon Convention Center, Room F149-150

Discover how three institutions – a liberal arts college, a comprehensive university, and a research university – provide library-led publishing services to their campuses. The panelists will share how their respective institutions have developed and aligned policies, infrastructure, staffing, outreach and strategic partnerships in order to provide sustainable publishing services.

The Framework for Information Literacy and Its Impact on Student Learning, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Oregon Convention Center, Portland Ballroom 251-158

Join five panelists, including members of the Information Literacy Task Force, to discuss several examples for how the Framework for Information Literacy and threshold concepts have influenced campus initiatives. We will explore: an overview of current trends, using the Framework to shape institutional conversations, collaborations between librarians and centers for teaching and learning, mapping undergraduate learning goals for integration in the arts and humanities, and using inquiry-based learning to restructure a freshman bibliography lesson.

Library Value Communication: Conceptualizing Impact, Centering on Stakeholders, Crafting Messages, and Conveying the Story, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM, Oregon Convention Center, Room B110-112

Librarians intuitively know their libraries are valuable, but shaping that knowledge into a compelling communication plan is a challenge. Join this workshop to learn concrete strategies for conveying your library’s value. We’ll engage in hands-on activities and discussions focused on defining value, identifying and prioritizing stakeholders, developing messages, and delivering the value story using a variety of methods. Leave with a new zest… and lots of ideas.. for revamping your library’s communication plan.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Getting Started with Academic Library Value: Strategies for Initiating Conversations, Expanding Thinking, and Taking Action, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM, Oregon Convention Center, Room C123-124

Demonstrating academic library value can feel daunting or even intimidating. How can you start the value conversation in your library? What steps can you take to conceptualize your library’s value? What first actions can link your libraries to the mission and goals of your institution? Join this panel and discover the hands-on practical strategies employed by six librarians at a range of different institutions to initiate the value conversation in their libraries.

Sustaining Success: Creating Community College Assessment Methods, 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM, Oregon Convention Center, Room C123-124

Demonstrating the library’s contribution to student success, retention, and persistence from direct assessment is a critical role for all libraries. Learn how community college librarians who participated in the first cohort of ACRL’s Assessment in Action initiative made progress on this important goal and benefitted from their own community of practice. You will leave with ways to engage in the assessment conversations at your institution and several specific models you can adapt for your library.

Learning Analytics and Privacy: Multi-Institutional Perspectives on Collecting and Using Library Data, 9:45 AM – 10:45 AM, Oregon Convention Center, Room B117-119

Panelists from three institutions will discuss and debate how individual-patron library resource use data can be utilized using learning analytics techniques. They will discuss how the benefits of these techniques are balanced against privacy concerns in the era of the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance. Find out how these institutions have grappled with these issues and how you can continue the conversation in your local context.

Online discussion: Assessing how libraries contribute to student success

 Events, Library Impact on Students  Comments Off on Online discussion: Assessing how libraries contribute to student success
Nov 132014

Readers of this blog may be interested in an online discussion hosted next week by the ACRL-ULS Committee on the Future of University Libraries. The discussion is free and will be held on Thursday, November 20 from 3-4 pm EST. To register, go to:

Some of the speakers and their projects have been featured here in the past.

  • Just last month we highlighted Eric Ackermann‘s Assessment in Action project regarding the impact of library games on information confidence.
  • We’ve been talking about the big library data project at University of Minnesota since 2012, and we have followed the publications resulting from that work.

Details about the online discussion follow.

Feeling pressed to prove that your library contributes to student success?  Are administrators demanding evidence that funding the library helps retain and graduate students?  While it may seem obvious  to librarians that students would not succeed without the library, demonstrating that can be a challenge.

Read short descriptions of ways three libraries have effectively assessed their contributions to student success, and then join this online discussion, where assessment librarians will encourage discussion of various ways to measure and demonstrate how your library helps students succeed.


Eric Ackermann (Head of Reference Services and Library Assessment, Radford University) will speak on how his library has tracked how the library’s participation in freshman orientation and core courses has affected retention.

Jennifer L. Jones (Assessment & User Experience Librarian, Georgia State University) will explain how her library followed three cohorts of undergraduates to assess the effect of using library workstations, study rooms, and research clinics.

Shane Nackerud (Technology Lead for Libraries Initiatives, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) and Janet Fransen (Engineering Librarian, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) will discuss the big data model the library used in partnership with the university’s Office of Institutional Research to assess the library’s contribution to student outcomes.

The speakers have prepared background stories to help you prepare for this discussion.  Find the descriptions of their successful projects at

Value of Academic Libraries ALA Annual, Las Vegas

 Assessment in Action, Events, General, Value Report  Comments Off on Value of Academic Libraries ALA Annual, Las Vegas
Jul 242014

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


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