Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success coverThrough a new report issued by ACRL, “Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects,” the higher education community now has compelling assessment findings that tell a strong story about the multiple ways that academic libraries are contributing to student learning and success. The report focuses on projects completed during the third and final year as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) from April 2015 to June 2016. Teams from more than 50 campuses completed assessment projects and reported on them individually (fully searchable online),  and this synthesis builds on past findings from an additional 150 projects completed during the first and second years of the AiA program as context.

Positive connections between the library and aspects of student learning and success in five areas are particularly noteworthy:

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  2. Library use increases student success. Students who used the library the library in some way (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online database access, study room use, interlibrary loan) achieved higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.
  3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).
  4. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Library instruction improves students’ achievement of institutional core competencies and general education outcomes such as inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including effective identification and use of information, critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and civic engagement.
  5. Library research consultations boost student learning. One-on-one or small-group reference and research assistance with a librarian enhances academic success, as documented by such factors as student confidence, GPAs, and improved achievement on course assignments.

While these project findings may not be generalizable, as from some forms of social science research, they can be adapted to other settings with care and consideration to local context. Because the findings are derived from action research, which is situated in authentic institutional contexts, the results reflect “on the ground” practices in terms of resources available and campus priorities.

“We now have compelling assessment findings that tell a strong story about the multiple ways that libraries are contributing to student learning and success. Having overall consistent assessment findings of library impact in these five areas—across a body of over 200 projects—is especially strong because of the variation. Each setting was unique; each library program and service differed in the way it was designed and implemented for the local context; students had different characteristics and backgrounds; there was a multiplicity of methods for investigating library impact on students,” said report preparer Karen Brown, professor in the School of Information Studies at Dominican University. “We urge academic libraries to grow and strengthen high-quality programs and services in these five areas of effective practice. Assessment findings such as these from the AiA projects lessen the need to question whether investments of time and energy in these areas will bring about a positive impact.”

In addition, the AiA projects continue to build evidence of promise for library impact in four areas which have yielded promising results about positive connections between the library and students’ academic success:

  • The library contributes to improved student retention.
  • Library instruction adds value to a student’s long-term academic experience.
  • The library promotes academic rapport and student engagement.
  • Use of library space relates positively to student learning and success.

Beyond the findings about library impact, librarian team leaders reflected on the experience of leading a collaborative campus team. Librarians engaged in an immersive process of ongoing interaction with one another and collaboration with their team members.

“The librarians led the design and implementation of assessment that related directly to their campus’s academic priorities, creating opportunities for substantive conversations with campus stakeholders about student learning and resulting in meaningful findings that informed decision making about library programs and practices,” noted ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives Kara Malenfant, who contributed to the report. “Through this, they strengthened crucial leadership qualities such as an awareness of the importance of decision making grounded in institutional context, a deeper understanding the dynamic nature of assessment, and a recognition of the personal and professional growth that emerges through collaboration with others.”

Read more in the full report “Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects.” The executive summary is available as a separate document, formatted to share broadly with campus stakeholders.

The three-year AiA program, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), helped more than 200 postsecondary institutions of all types create partnerships at their institution to promote library leadership and engagement in campus-wide assessment. Each participating institution established a team with a lead librarian and at least two colleagues from other campus units. Team members frequently included teaching faculty and administrators from such departments as the assessment office, institutional research, the writing center, academic technology, and student affairs. Over a 14-month period, the librarians led their campus teams in the development and implementation of a project that aims to contribute to assessment activities at their institution.

A new day-long traveling ACRL workshop builds on the AiA curriculum with a focus on strategic and sustainable assessment. Learn more about how to bring this and other ACRL licensed workshops to your institution, chapter, or consortia.

A forthcoming print volume, Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience: Activating the Results of Assessment in Action, will describe the entire AiA program in greater detail. The volume, to be published by ACRL in fall 2017, will provide context, offer reflections from team leaders, and serve as a culminating capstone for the three year IMLS-funded program.

SECOND DRAFT OF ACRL ACTION-ORIENTED RESEARCH AGENDA RELEASED; FEEDBACK DUE BY FEB. 17

 General, Library Impact on Faculty/Staff, Library Impact on Students, Publications, Value Report  Comments Off on SECOND DRAFT OF ACRL ACTION-ORIENTED RESEARCH AGENDA RELEASED; FEEDBACK DUE BY FEB. 17
Jan 222017
 

ACRL VAL + OCLCThe team from OCLC Research which is developing a new action-oriented agenda on library contributions to student learning and success has released a second draft (PDF). Team members seek your input and reactions via the feedback form by February 17, 2017.

Learn about the team’s continued progress and next steps during ACRL’s Update on the Value of Academic Libraries Initiative at ALA Midwinter meeting on Sunday, January 22, 2017, 1:00 PM – 2:30 pm. In this session, join ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries committee chair to hear the context for this work along with OCLC Research’s project director and project team members. Ask questions and give your feedback on the second draft.

Find out more about the scope of the agenda and background on the project website or by watching the recording of a November ACRL online forum.

Call for Book Chapter Proposals in Library Assessment

 Communicating Value, General, Publications  Comments Off on Call for Book Chapter Proposals in Library Assessment
Dec 072016
 

Book editors are seeking chapter proposals for a book on library assessment. Please consider sharing your work in this area to this effort.

Working Title – Academic Libraries and the Academy: Strategies and Approaches to Demonstrate Your Value, Impact, and Return on Investment

Publisher
This book will be published under the auspices of ACRL (Association of College & Research Libraries). The anticipated publication date is early 2018.

Introduction
Assessment in academic libraries will play an increasingly crucial role in higher education. With the demand for greater transparency and accountability in funding for institutions, diminished budgets, and a shift to performance-based funding, academic libraries are examining and implementing new and creative approaches to demonstrate their inherent, immediate and long term value and impact to their institutions and stakeholders. Academic libraries of all shapes and sizes are understanding the need to establish their place and role in supporting institutional goals and objectives particularly related to student learning outcomes, academic student success measures, and faculty teaching and research productivity. To this end, many academic libraries are investing in efforts focused on implementing assessment initiatives that demonstrate their value and impact to their institutional stakeholders and community.

Objective
This book will present cases of how academic libraries are successfully implementing initiatives to demonstrate their worth and value to their institutional and community stakeholders. The cases will include proven strategies, lessons learned, effective approaches and practical applications successfully employed by academic staff and support professionals. The publication is intended to inform those at all levels of experience and stages of implementation— that is, those who are considering or just beginning to embark on this path, as well as others who have already taken the plunge and are looking to leverage or triangulate other strategies.

Target Audience
This publication will primarily target librarians, professional staff and administrators at all types of academic libraries, and we anticipate it will also be of interest to others across disciplines and industries who are engaged in similar assessment initiatives. It will present practical, easy-to-adopt strategies and approaches based on case studies, and will offer a breadth and depth of options to appeal to a wide range of readers at various stages of experience with demonstrating library value — from beginners to experts.

Proposed Book Sections
This book will be structured in four sections of case studies as described below:

Section 1: Seeding the Initiative. Explores the planning stages or “works-in-progress” in assessment that relate to the library’s impact and value. The results of these efforts may not be imminent. Nevertheless, these case studies demonstrate the potential value and the importance of the initial design and planning stage.

Section 2: Low-Hanging Fruit. Provides stories of assessments that are easy to measure, short-term (less than one year), low cost, require few resources (staff or tools), and are easily replicable at similar academic libraries.

Example: ROI spreadsheets at the University of West Florida

Section 3: Reachable Fruit (with some effort). Provides stories of assessments that may require more external and internal resources to measure, may take more than six months to one year to collect and analyze, feature medium costs and resources (i.e., incentives, equipment, tools), and may be replicable at other academic libraries that are similar in size or scope.

Example: Contingent valuation measures

Section 4: Hard-to-Reach Fruit. A range of assessment activities more difficult to measure and time and resource intensive, may require long-term data collection (e.g. longitudinal studies that require more than a year to collect a dataset or have measures that require more time, such as measuring a cohort’s graduation rates), and feature greater external partnerships, internal infrastructure, and/or additional resources to measure and analyze.

Examples: The Library Cube (which required the creation of a relational database), and Mixed-method Ethnographies, such as the ERIAL Project. (Ethnographic qualitative studies require more time to transcribe and analyze.)

Chapter proposals should focus on a topic that is related to one of the four sections listed above. Authors are also welcome to propose additional topics or sections that may be relevant to this publication.

Submission Procedure
Authors are invited to submit a chapter proposal as an email attachment in Word or PDF to academiclibrariesandtheacademy@gmail.com on or before Monday, January 09, 2017. The chapter proposal should be 300-500 words clearly explaining the intent and details of the proposed chapter as it relates to one of the four sections of the book described above. Authors will be notified by Monday, February 27, 2017 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Completed chapters are expected to be between 3,000-5,000 words, although shorter or longer chapters are negotiable. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by Tuesday, May 29, 2017.

Proposals should include:
• Author name(s), institutional or organizational affiliation, job title/role
• Brief author(s) bio
• Proposed chapter title
• A summary of the proposed chapter (300-500 words)

Proposed chapters should be based on unpublished work, unique to this publication and not submitted or intended to be simultaneously submitted elsewhere.

Important Dates
Book Chapter Proposals Submission Due: Monday, January 09, 2017
Authors notified: Monday, February 27, 2017
Abstracts/Full Chapters Due: Tuesday, May 29, 2017
Feedback and revisions to Authors: Summer, 2017
Final Revised Chapter Due: September, 2017
Copy-editing, production: Fall, 2017
Publication Date: Early 2018

Inquiries to: academiclibrariesandtheacademy@gmail.com

Editors
Marwin Britto, Ph.D., MLIS
University of Saskatchewan
Canada

Kirsten Kinsley, Ed.S., MLIS
Florida State University
USA

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