About the workshop
The planned program of the workshop is as follows:
Presentation of findings of ACRL’s “Assessment in Action” project.
Participants will discuss challenges and opportunities for assessing library impact and develop strategies to use higher education and institutional data to communicate the value of their library to stakeholders. Participants will be required to collect library data prior to attending the workshop and the data will be used to develop a benchmarking template for all AMICAL institutions. (types of data may include volumes/titles; reference questions; circulation; presentations; etc. This data will be used to calculate ratios for comparative purposes). Participants will establish baseline benchmark data to be collected by all AMICAL institutions. This will enable longitudinal analysis that will assist AMICAL library directors in facilitating strategic conversations with academic leaders.
The role of leadership and institutional culture in navigating influence, reducing barriers, and maximizing opportunities for improvement will be examined. Participants will leave with a plan for focused strategic assessment actions and with new pathways for leading their organizations.
Participants will design an assessment project that aligns with institutional priorities.
Specifically, the workshop will focus on developing a plan to assess the common theme of “student experience and engagement” at AMICAL institutions. Appropriate methodologies will be examined and recommended. Ideally the plan will be implemented in collaboration with on campus academic support partners such as writing centers, academic technology, peer tutor programs, etc. The plan could then be adapted to fit local library contexts. Results from implemented assessments will be presented at the annual AMICAL conference.
Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives, Association of College and Research Libraries
Kara J. Malenfant is a senior staff member at ACRL, where she coordinates government relations advocacy and scholarly communication activities and is the lead staff member on the Value of Academic Libraries initiative and Assessment in Action program. She provides consulting services on organization development and use of ACRL’s standards for libraries in higher education. Kara began her position at ACRL in fall of 2005, after working for six years at DePaul University Libraries in Chicago. She holds a PhD in leadership and change from Antioch University and an MS in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Professor, Dominican University, Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Karen Brown is a professor at Dominican University (River Forest, Illinois) in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science and teaches in the areas of collection management, foundations of the profession, and literacy and learning. Prior to joining Dominican University’s faculty in 2000, she developed and coordinated continuing education programs for the Chicago Library System, one of Illinois’s former regional library systems. She has also held positions focusing on collection development, reference, and instruction at the University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Bard College. She holds a PhD in media studies from New York University and master’s degrees in library science and adult education from the University of Wisconsin.
Participants will be able to:
- Design robust assessment plans, practices, and processes.
- Implement assessment practices that document the impact of libraries on student experience and engagement.
- Collaborate with key on-campus academic support partners such as writing centers, academic technology, peer tutor programs, etc. to plan and conduct assessment that aligns library outcomes with institutional initiatives, priorities, and assessment activities.
- Use the results of assessment to foster support for library contributions to student success.
- Analyze challenges and position library directors to have strategic conversations with academic leaders to advocate for the library in order to reduce barriers and maximize the library’s ability to effect change.