Teams Selected for Third Year of ACRL “Assessment in Action” Learning Community

 Assessment in Action  Comments Off on Teams Selected for Third Year of ACRL “Assessment in Action” Learning Community
Apr 282015

Assessment in Action LogoACRL has selected 55 institutional teams to participate in the third 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 24 states, the District of Columbia and Australia. 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 a clear connection between the team’s project goals and institutional priorities as well as strong institutional commitment to support the team’s project during the course of the AiA program,” said Lynn Silipigni Connaway, vice chair of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Committee and senior research scientist at OCLC.

The proposed topics for selected institutions include:

  • Does the point-of-need integration of library instructional materials and services into the blended learning environment improve the quality of nontraditional student papers in undergraduate courses with a research component?
  • What is the contribution of the library internship program on student learning and career development?
  • What impact can an enhanced library program based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy have in curricular experiments designed to develop knowledge, skills, and habits of mind?
  • How do students’ co-curricular interests (leadership, entrepreneurship, service, etc.) impact the perceived importance or satisfaction with the library’s services, collections, and facility?
  • What is the impact of an information literacy instructional program for students preparing for an experiential learning experience, co-op? What is the perceived application of information literacy skills by both employers and students on co-op, and what is the relationship to student retention?
  • Can we find a correlation with students’ library usage and student success (grades, retention, and completion rates)? What relationships will we find by incorporating library data points (reference interactions, physical space usage, instruction sessions, library research consultations, and collection usage) into the customer relationship management tool currently used by key departments on campus such as advising, financial aid, and student communication?
  • Do students who attend research data services workshops and/or data management classes demonstrate improved knowledge of and practice of effective data management practices following training/instruction? How does students’ work with data, data sets, and/or databases in analog and/or digital form affect their ability to think administratively, critically, pragmatically, and technically about how they use, manage, and store data? How does access and use of collaborative research data infrastructure impact student’s capacity for and effectiveness in working within research teams?

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 2016 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 2015-June 2016. 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.

“The variety of projects and diversity of institutions is inspiring,” said Lisa Hinchliffe, co-lead facilitator in the AiA program and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “It is an honor to be working with such dedicated librarian team leaders, and the facilitators are pleased to see the AiA community of practice continue to develop and grow with this third year of participants.”

Strong results from AiA teams are already evident in the January report synthesizing more than 70 projects from the first year with an accompanying executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders and a searchable online collection of individual team project descriptions. A second year of AiA is well underway with an additional 70 institutional teams who will be submitting their final reports in June and presenting posters at the ALA Annual Conference in 2015.

AiA is a three-year program, and ACRL will use this third year of the AiA grant to inform how it can best support the community in developing and carrying out assessment projects going forward. The IMLS grant funded the majority of the costs for developing the AiA program and for delivering it the first two years. The third year of the grant marks a transition year to determine if this program is sustainable or if other models better address the needs of the community.

ACRL preconference @ 2015 ALA Annual Conference – Craft Narratives to Engage and Persuade

 Communicating Value  Comments Off on ACRL preconference @ 2015 ALA Annual Conference – Craft Narratives to Engage and Persuade
Apr 272015

Storytelling 101: Craft Narratives to Engage and Persuade
ACRL Preconference @ ALA Annual Conference
San Francisco, CA
Friday, June 26, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

When was the last time someone changed your mind with a story? We empathize with, persuade, and teach each other using the social tool that is storytelling. Whether you’re a high-powered library administrator headed into an important conference call or a part-time instruction librarian at the head an unfamiliar classroom, humans crave connection and a compelling story can be the difference between connecting deeply with your campus colleagues and patrons or experiencing a total disconnect.

In this hands-on, learner-centered preconference, discover the neuroscience behind why well-told stories resonate with listeners and how that advantage can be translated into educational and work contexts by library professionals. Persuasive storytelling is widely considered to be a powerful tool for leaders in academe and industry, and can be incorporated into many traditional library initiatives, including instruction, management, outreach, advocacy, and development. The goal of this preconference is to introduce this skill to emerging leaders at any location on an institution’s org chart.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the science of and methodology employed in storytelling (and its importance and use in the workplace) in order to identify when storytelling is appropriate in a professional context.
  • Outline and structure a narrative using the key elements of crafting a story in order to develop and revise persuasive narratives germane to the task at hand.
  • Collaborate with peers, providing and incorporating feedback into your creative work in order to refine your story and its presentation with reflective practice and determine how audiences may react to your choices.


Dan Hickey, Assistant Director of Research & Learning Services for Cornell’s Hospitality, Labor, and Management Library, Cornell University; Chris Miller, Teaching and Learning Services Coordinator for

Cornell’s Hospitality, Labor, and Management Library, Cornell University

Complete details and registration materials are available online.  Contact with questions.

Working with Campus Planners Opens New Venue for Assessing Library Spaces

 Communicating Value, General  Comments Off on Working with Campus Planners Opens New Venue for Assessing Library Spaces
Apr 172015

We welcome a guest post from Danuta A. Nitecki, Dean of Libraries and Professor, College of Computing & Informatics at  Drexel University Libraries

As ACRL liaison to SCUP [Society for College and University Planners] I have become increasingly aware of how institutional planners and architects are addressing key issues in higher education.  I also try to impress such campus colleagues with contributions librarians make to the same set of topics.  In this blog post I share an example of an initiative, funded by a SCUP managed prize.  Through it, a collaboration of expertise from the practice of architecture, faculty research, and librarianship is focusing on creating a tool to assess learning within library space.  The broad research interest is to understand how factors in an environment relate to learning.

I am honored to have received the 2014-15 Perry Chapman prize with my two colleagues:   W. Michael Johnson is a practicing architect specializing in educational programming and academic facility design, and  is also an Adjunct Professor at The Spitzer School of Architecture, CCNY/CUNY, teaching how to use big data and empirical modeling in building design. Michael Khoo, Ph.D., is assistant teaching faculty at Drexel’s College of Computing and Informatics, with degrees in anthropology and communication, and fifteen years of ethnographic and qualitative research experience in field sites including libraries, archives, and digital libraries.   I am the practicing librarian on the research team, with over forty years of library administrative leadership experience, focusing on services, applications of technologies, and space design, as well as research, teaching and publications especially on topics of evaluation and assessment.

Since summer 2014 we have been studying how physical conditions influence learning outside of classrooms.  With assistance of students hired through the project, we are taking low-resolution time-lapse images with ceiling mounted cell phone cameras and recording these in a database.  These images allow us to study student engagement behaviors while they protect personal privacy.  The research records patterns of peer engagement among students, mapping the proximity between people as a proxy for the direct exchange of information.  Our IRB review determined that our work does not constitute human–subjects research.

Our goal is to provide evidence of physical conditions that foster a broad sharing of ideas across a campus. The outcome of the year-long project will be creation and testing of a tool to measure the density and frequency of peer interaction. This proximity mapping tool is intended to allow any campus planners, including librarians, to easily and confidentially gather empirical evidence for improving designs of learning environments.

For more information, including some sample images and updates, please visit our blog at:

The Perry Chapman prize of $10,000 has been awarded annually since 2012. As described on the SCUP website, “This prize funds research in the planning and design of institutions of higher education. The prize is intended to further the research, development, and dissemination of emerging knowledge to improve campus environments in support of their institution’s mission.”   Applications are now sought for the 2015-16 year which is the last scheduled for this prize; for details see   SCUP administers the prize in honor of Perry Chapman and The Hideo Sasaki Foundation supports it.  Deadline for submission of proposals for 2015-16 is May 31, 2015.

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