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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

Assessment examines how library services and resources impact and are perceived by users, and guides strategic planning discussions and development of future acquisitions and services. Assessment is fundamental to positioning your library within your organization and effectively demonstrating how it furthers your institution’s goals. And it can be more of an art than a science, using the qualitative and quantitative data available to you to show your library’s alignment with the needs and mission of your organization.

The Library Assessment Cookbook features 80 practical, easy-to-implement recipes divided into nine sections:

  • Data Preparation for Assessments
  • Traditional and Online Collections Assessments
  • Instruction Programs Assessments
  • Outreach and Programming Assessment
  • Assessments Assessment
  • Strategic Planning Assessment
  • Service Points and Services Assessment
  • Equipment, Building, and Space Assessment
  • Website and Web Services Assessment

This Cookbook will help librarians of all levels of experience measure and demonstrate their institutional value.

Section 1. Data Preperation for Assessment
Kitchen Prep: Getting Ready for Library Assessment
Emily Guhde

Creating a Statistics Report Using Ingredients Already in the Library
Judy Geczi

Using Student GPA to Show the “Nutritional Value” of a Library Service
Mitchell Scott

Boiling Down Qualitative Data to Build Personas that Inform Spaces, Services, and Technologies
Monena Hall and Maurini Strub

“Stocking the Larder”: Recruiting for Focus Groups and Other Small Group Assessments
Carol Mollman

Making Project Management Planning and Assessment Planning a Piece of Cake
Susan Payne

Section 2. Traditional and Online Collections Assessments
Professional Development Assessment Paella
Catherine Sassen, Karen Harker, and Erin O’Toole

Creating a Framework for Comprehensive Collection Assessment
Galadriel Chilton

Exploratory Collection Assessment: The Subject Snapshot
Madeline Kelly

Recipe for Collection Assessment: Mixing Together Key Ingredients to Make a Roux
Paula Barnett-Ellis and Charlcie Pettway Vann

Potluck Surprise: Assessing Donated Materials
Jeannine Berroteran

Using Required Readings from Course Syllabi to Show Library Value and Assess the Collection
Eric Hartnett and Simona Tabacaru

MAPing Collection Use: Using Massive Analysis Projects for Collections Analysis
Galadriel Chilton, Joelle Thomas, Alice Fairfield, Arta Dobbs, Elisabeth Umpleby, and Dawn Cadogan

Using Baskets and a Rubric to Assess Online Resources in the “Messy Middle”
Kathleen Reed, Jean Blackburn, and Dana McFarland

Annual Database (or General Resource) Evaluation
Ashley Zmau

Harvested IR Metadata Gumbo
Courtenay McLeland and Alice Eng

Fad Food or Family Tradition?: Assessing Digital Projects for Long-Term Value
Allison Ringness

Rendering Repositories: Taking out the Fat and Getting to the Impact
Sian Brannon and Laura Waugh

Flavoring Your E-Resources Collection: The Spice Rack Assessment
Amanda Binder and Elizabeth Siler

Open Access Citation Analysis
Emily Raymond and Heather Scalf

Tower Cakes for Ranking Subscription Resources
Karen Harker, Todd Enoch, and Laurel Crawford

Section 3. Instruction Programs Assessments

Measuring the Ingredients of a Good Bibliography: A Recipe for Citation Analysis
Karen Kohn, Temple University,; Larissa Gordon

Open-Faced Formative Assessment
Gina Calia-Lotz

Cooking with Information Resources in the Online Kitchen
Beate Gersch and Joseph A. Salem, Jr.

Lazy Susan: A Continuous Improvement Cycle of Learning and Assessment
Joy Oehlers

Information Literacy Assessment Entrée: Using a Reflective Essay to Assess Course Learning Outcomes
Stephanie Alexander, Tom Bickley, Gr Keer, Aline Soules, and Diana K. Wakimoto

PROTEIN (Peer Review of Teaching: Evaluative Instruction Networks) Supplements for Librarians
Jason Vance

The Library Rally
Michelle J. Gibeault

Rubrics as a Method for Assessing & Improving Library Instruction
Megan Hodge, Laura Gariepy, and Jenny Stout

Slow-cooked Rubric: Designing and using a rubric to assess undergraduate final papers
Eleanor Johnson and Katie Bishop

Cooking up Rubrics to Assess Student Learning
Marjorie Leta

How Much Do Good Cooking Methods Affect the Quality of the Meal?
Christy Fic and Kirk Moll

Library Tour Taste Test
Nancy Noe

Word Soup: Using Word Clouds to Assess the One-Minute Paper
Maria Barefoot

Creating Connoisseurs: Assessing Students’ Ability to Evaluate Websites
Mandi Smith, Jason Smith, Cathy Blackman, and Wensheng Wang

Assessment Layer Cake
Patricia J. Mileham and Kimberly J. Whalen

Section 4. Outreach and Programming Assessment

Shopping for Kitchen Implements? How to Decide If a Library Program is Useful, Usable, and Desirable
Joy Oehlers and Joyce Tokuda

Assessing an Event: Mixin’ It Up with the Long Night Against Procrastination
Katherine Penner and Sarah Clark

Measuring the Success of Library Outreach to First-Year Student Athletes
Beth Hendrix

Planning the Perfect Party: Data for Dessert!
Katy Mathuews and Zachary Lewis

Section 5. Assessments Assessment
Rubrics and Rutabagas: Only One is Useful for Assessing Staff During Evaluations
Sian Brannon and Julie Leuzinger

Cooking Times May Vary: Assessing Student Workflows in the Stacks
Joyce Douglas and Katy Mathuews

Stop Folding the Dough: Intervening to Decide Whether or Not to Assess Again
Sian Brannon

Recipe for Success: Add a Personal SWOT Analysis to Any Assessment Project
Faithe Ruiz

Section 6. Strategic Planning Assessment

Two Birds with One Stone: Using a Survey to Get Employee Feedback and to Educate in the Strategic Planning Process
Regina Mays and Peter Fernandez

Strategic Stress Test: Aligning Programs and Services with a Strategic Plan
Strategic Initiatives Department

Chicken Soup for Digital Scholarship: Assessing Your Next Steps
A. Miller

Section 7. Service Points and Services Assessment

Service Desk Activity Burrito
Heather Scalf and Ali Adil

Who’s at Your Table? Planning for Success through Community Engagement
Stefanie Metko

Survey System for Measuring Library Outcomes
Rebecca Bayrer, Dawn Melberg, and Eve Melton

Academic Libraries: The Breakfast of Student Champions
Katy Mathuews

If We Prepare It, Will They Come Back for More?
Adriana Gonzalez and Jason B. Reed

Methods Mash
Jennifer Jones

Service Assessment with a Side of Secret Shoppers
Jennifer Jones

Healthy Chat Reference Assessment with a Side of Zesty Infographs
Natalie Haber

Reference Referral Training Stew: The Perfect Assessment Mix
Lisa Vassady and Alyssa Archer

Deconstructing Reference Statistics
Jen-chien Yu

The Secret Ingredient: Mystery Shopping Your Service Points
Candice Benjes-Small and Elizabeth Kocevar-Weidinger

The Missing Piece:Assessing Implementation Fidelity
Megan Hodge and Laura Gariepy

Patron for a Day (PFAD): A Space Assessment
Stephanie Hartman and Lisa R. Horowitz

An Assessment Rubric Inspired by The Four Seasons®
Nathaniel King and Kelly Lutz

Section 8. Equipment, Building, and Space Assessment

Learning Space Ethnography Study: Observe Students in the Library to Inform Service and Resource Design
Victoria Raish

Interview to the Double: Uncovering Student Motivations in the Library
Kathleen Reed, Cameron Hoffman, and Meg Ecclestone

Flipchart Surveys
Laura Newton Miller

Space Invaders: Measuring Use and Satisfaction Through Mixed Methods
Susan Gardner Archambault

Assessing Student Learning Behaviors in Informal Learning Spaces
Susan Beatty

Culinary Snapshots: Assessing International Student Needs Through Photographs
Alyssa Berger, Ana Villar, and Danielle Rowland

Don’t Just Count ‘em, Sweep ‘em!
Gricel Dominguez

Library Space Cake
Jenny Horton

Decorating the Library Cake: A Space Utilization Study
Kellie Meehlhause

Section 9. Website and Web Services Assessment

Add WebAIM and Stir: Assessing Web Accessibility for Users with Disabilities
Laura DeLancey

Easy (No-Bake) Online Card Sorting
Samantha Rich

But This is for the Library: Best Practices for Usability Testing and Library Website Design
Sojourna Cunningham, Regina Mays, and Holly Mercer

Hear the People Sing: Communicating Usability Results to a Large Library Audience
Sojourna Cunningham, Regina Mays, and Holly Mercer

Farm to Table: A Recipe for Website Usability Testing on a Budget
Tiffany Davis, Jen Park, and Derek Sanderson

Assessing Your Library Website with Usability Testing
Brighid M. Gonzales
Order Takeout: Virtual Usability Testing to Meet Your Users Where They Are
Jennifer C. Hill and Anita Norton

Lean Usability Testing for Healthy Website Assessment
Alex Sundt

Simple Usability Stir Fry
Tim Broadwater and Jessica Tapia

Standards Referenced

Aaron W. Dobbs

Aaron W. Dobbs is systems and electronic resources librarian and assistant professor at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. He received his master's degree in management from Austin Peay State University and his MSLS from the University of Tennessee. Dobbs is heavily involved in the American Library Association as councilor-at-large on the ALA Council, chair of the ALA Website Advisory Committee, and as an ACRL legislative advocate. His current professional interest is in creating student-centered library websites, particularly with LibGuides.