ACRL Online Discussion Forum “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries”

 Communicating Value, Events, Library Impact on Students  Comments Off on ACRL Online Discussion Forum “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries”
Sep 092015

Join us for the free ACRL online discussion forum “National Credentialing and Academic Libraries” on Thursday, September 24, from 2 – 3 p.m. Central (noon – 1 p.m. Pacific | 1 – 2 p.m. Mountain | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. Central | 3 – 4 p.m. Eastern).  Please note that you can convert additional time zones online at

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and nearly 80 other organizations recently joined the Lumina Foundation in co-sponsoring a national dialogue on credentialing which calls for ways to transform our nation’s highly diverse and fragmented credentialing system into one that is student-centered and learning-based. Change is needed for several reasons: to ensure educational quality; increase access; better align the work of industry, education and certification/licensure agencies; multiply the benefits of increased attainment; reduce social inequity; and foster individual progress that results in market-valued credentials.

Join this ACRL online discussion forum on September 24 to share your best thinking around what changes are needed and the potential role academic librarians and/or ACRL could play in transforming credentialing in the United States. This discussion is right for you if you already know the basics of digital badges, understand the rationale for a credentialing framework and are beginning to form an opinion about how academic librarians may be uniquely positioned to contribute to this conversation. Your input will help inform ACRL’s contribution to the national conversation.

A group of ACRL member leaders from the Value of Academic Libraries committee and the Digital Badges interest group will kick off the online forum then open the floor for discussion. To help guide your thinking, you may wish to consider these questions:

  1. Should and could information literacy be packaged into a “stackable”, quantifiable credential (such as a digital badge or a certificate) that graduates would use as marketable “currency” in the job world?
  2. How would such a credential be scaffolded throughout the college experience in such a way that various institutions would be able to participate?
  3. Would ACRL become the credentialing body for such a credential or how would an information literacy credential be channeled through in a recognized way that would give it value?
  4. How would you foresee credentialing being developed at your institution?
  5. What role should ACRL play in this national credentialing initiative?

Are you new to these issues? Stay tuned for more later this month when the next issue of ACRL’s current awareness publication Keeping up With… focuses on national credentialing and academic libraries. It will come out prior to this online discussion and may help you prepare to contribute your best thinking.

How to register

Submit your free registration online by 2:00 p.m. Central, Wednesday  September 23, 2015.  The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

Questions should be directed to


We asked participants in ACRL’s Assessment in Action (AiA) to share a few thoughts on their experience. Here is what Nancy Goebel from the University of Alberta Libraries had to say about her project: “Can the Personal Librarian program help make the University of Alberta Libraries more relevant and supportive for students in specific populations?”

Augustana Campus Faculty Portraits

Augustana Campus Faculty – Nancy Goebel

Abstract: The Personal Librarian for Aboriginal Students (PLAS) program aimed to deepen Aboriginal (native) students’ engagement with library services, collections and services. In the PLAS program, incoming Aboriginal students were partnered with a “Personal Librarian”.

Most weeks in the academic/project year students were emailed a short hint on how to do research and, always, an encouragement to contact their Personal Librarian. Participating students and Personal Librarians were surveyed at the end of the academic/project year.

  1. What was your greatest challenge during the course of your Assessment in Action project?  AiA was the biggest project, by far, that I have been involved in which included partners exclusively outside of the library and across multiple campuses.  I think that both of these factors will influence how I think about most of my work for the rest of my career.  I will more naturally consider how the project might be strengthened with non-library partners and considering the needs of multiple campuses adds complexity but is true to the full needs of the campuses’ users and that consideration is essential.
  2. What is your #1 recommendation for other librarians who want to conduct an assessment project on student learning and success?  I am a big advocate for pilot programs.  Not to say that everything can or should be spontaneous or not fully-planned but rather create opportunities for good ideas to have a chance to flourish.  To be efficient and effective with resources we must not be wasteful so good planning and creative thinking are core components in pilots too.
  3. What is the #1 thing you gained through your participation in Assessment in Action? AiA was not my first consideration of the importance of assessment in my career. However, it made a lasting impact in terms of the consideration of assessment now being front and center with all work that I do.  I think it is important to have evidence to support the work we do and also use evidence to inform what might be the best route to take even if it is not the preferred route by whatever constituent.

Thank you very much Nancy for the excellent post and congratulations on completing AiA!

Council of Independent Colleges + ACRL Value Committee

 Communicating Value, General  Comments Off on Council of Independent Colleges + ACRL Value Committee
Aug 272015

This blog post is one in a series of posts discussing the library value work being done by the ACRL Liaisons to non-library higher education organizations. The following post from Lis Cabot who writes about her liaison work with the Council of Independent Colleges.

The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) is an association of nonprofit independent colleges and universities that works to advance institutional quality and increase awareness of the contributions of small and mid-size private institutions to society.  ACRL has co-sponsored many initiatives with the CIC. The Council was a co-sponsor of ACRL’s IMLS grant in support of the Value of Academic Libraries initiative. CIC also offers scholarships for college library directors to attend the ALA Annual Conference.    As the ACRL Liaison to CIC, I attend an annual Chief Academic Officers Institute where I offer programming that highlights the contributions of academic libraries to institutional effectiveness. Recent institutes have included Chief Student Affairs Officers and Chief Financial Affairs Officers. I shared examples of CIC member libraries collaborative campus projects with the Chief Student Affairs Officers. As a major employer of student workers, academic libraries contribute to student retention and recruitment. Several libraries develop residence hall programming and cultural activities. I find these administrators to be very interested in evolving library services, resources, and physical spaces.

Academic officers tend to be natural supporters of libraries and look to librarians for evidence of our contributions to teaching and learning success, as well as to institutional mission.   They are keenly interested in collaborative initiatives whereby academic libraries partner with other campus units.   Deans and provosts frequently cite budget challenges and applaud our efforts in the areas of resource sharing and consortia initiatives.   CIC goals align nicely with ACRL’s Strategic Goals in the Plan for Excellence. CIC is interested in making the case for independent higher education and fostering institutional effectiveness. Academic libraries work to demonstrate alignment with institutional outcomes.   CIC also focuses on forming collaborations to create and strengthen institutional programs. ACRL and academic libraries seek to leverage partnerships in support of mutual goals. CIC assists institutions in improving their educational offerings, administrative and financial performance, and visibility. This focus aligns nicely with ACRL’s goal of accelerating the transition to a more open system of scholarship and promotion of new structures that reward and value open scholarship.

CIC has also offered an annual workshop on Information Fluency in the Disciplines. Teams of faculty, librarians, and academic administrators from CIC schools are selected to participate in the workshops. During the workshop, the institutional teams focus on the development of local initiatives that introduce and reinforce information fluency skills in academic programs and/or academic disciplines. I facilitate some of the working sessions at the workshop and work with individual teams. I enjoy working with the teams and field inquiries post-workshop from several participants. I highlighted ACRL’s work on revisions to the Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education at the workshops. I also co-presented on institutional approaches to “Developing Information Fluency Across the Four Years”. I highlight the collaborative approach we use at Ithaca College, engaging disciplinary faculty in the identification of core student learning outcomes linked to specific library resources and services. As a result of my participation the workshop, I have been invited to a CIC member campus to present on our approach and to work with a group of faculty and librarians.

I report on my CIC activities to the College Library Section’s Executive Committee at Midwinter and Annual Conferences.   I have also forwarded relevant information to ACRL’s Strategic Goal Committees.

The ACRL-CIC relationship continues to be an opportunity for collaboration and engagement.   Given that CIC member institutions are small to medium-sized colleges and universities, they naturally focus on creating a compelling undergraduate experience. CIC academic officers and faculty continue to welcome and support the contributions of their libraries.



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