Libraries and Accreditation

We value assessment for the purposes of improving teaching and learning, but there is no denying that accreditation drives many assessment efforts at our various institutions. How do libraries contribute to accreditation efforts?

In an article based based on a paper presented at LILAC 2013, Cara Bradley looks at “Information literacy in the programmatic university accreditation standards of select professions in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.” The study finds “significant variation in the language used in the professions to describe the concept of IL, highlighting the alternative language used in the various professions to describe this ability. The study also maps outcomes outlined in the accreditation documents to the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL’s) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (ACRL 2000) in order to identify areas of overlapping concern.”

In other research on information literacy, libraries, and accreditation, Laura Saunders has published several items of interest:

  • Saunders, L. (2007). Regional accreditation organizations’ treatment of information literacy: Definitions, collaboration, and assessment. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 33(3), 317-326. doi:
  • Saunders, L. (2008). Perspectives on accreditation and information literacy as reflected in the literature of library and information science. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34(4), 305-313. doi:
  • Saunders, L. (2011). Information literacy as a student learning outcome :The perspective of institutional accreditation. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Libraries Unlimited.

For other thoughts about library value and accreditation, see the Value report, pages 54-55.

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