Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience: Activating the Results of Assessment in Action—eEditions PDF e-book

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

The Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Assessment in Action (AiA) was a multiyear professional development program that ran from 2013 to 2016, funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. A central part of the ACRL Value of Academic Libraries initiative, it engaged more than 200 higher education institutions, generating evidence of library impact and advancing library leadership and evidence-based advocacy. This publication provides, in a single and comprehensive work, the story of AiA—the context surrounding its development, findings of the team-based assessment projects, insights about the program results, reflections about its impact, and recommendations for future directions.

In three sections—Results, Reflections, and Advancing Assessment to the Future—as well as eleven appendices of supporting material about the development and execution of the program, Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience paints a vivid picture of the thinking that went into creating AiA, the results of the individual projects, the impact on participating teams, and the broader importance for the profession. While designed to capture the stories and successes of AiA, the book also provides effective strategies for applying the AiA findings and helping academic librarians develop assessments that result in meaningful impacts on their own campuses, using these assessments to better tell the story of the contributions libraries make.

Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience serves anyone seeking to activate the results of the AiA program: academic librarians new to assessment; libraries that have ongoing assessment programs and are looking for new directions or ideas for expanding their efforts; librarians demonstrating to campus administrators the library’s impact on student learning and success; campus assessment officers and higher education administrators; and library and information science faculty and scholars.



INTRODUCTION.  The Assessment in Action Program: A Cornerstone of the Value of  Academic Libraries Initiative
Mary Ellen K. Davis and Cheryl A. Middleton

SECTION 1. Results

CHAPTER 1. Evidence of Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Advancing Library Leadership and Advocacy with Assessment in Action
Karen Brown

CHAPTER 2. Creating Sustainable Assessment through Collaboration: A National Program Reveals Effective Practices
Kara J. Malenfant and Karen Brown

CHAPTER 3. Academic Library Contributions to Student Success: Documented Practices from the Field
Karen Brown and Kara J. Malenfant

CHAPTER 4. Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects
Karen Brown and Kara J. Malenfant

CHAPTER 5. Academic Library Impact on Student Learning and Success: Findings from Assessment in Action Team Projects
Karen Brown and Kara J. Malenfant

CHAPTER 6. Value of Academic Libraries Statement
Association of College and Research Libraries
Prepared by Adam Murray and Lorelei Tanji

SECTION 2. Reflections

CHAPTER 7. A Stone Soup Approach to Building Large-Scale Library Assessments
Mary O?Kelly

CHAPTER 8. Filling in the Potholes: Providing Smooth Pathways for Successful Library Instruction for First Year Students
Adam Brennan and Lisa Haldeman

CHAPTER 9. Building Campus Partnerships and Improving Student Success Through a Collaborative Drop-in Tutoring Service
Stephanie Bush

CHAPTER 10. Becoming Part of the Conversation through Assessment of Undergraduate Library Internships
Clinton K. Baugess and Kathryn S. Martin

CHAPTER 11. Positively Impacting the Library Experience of Aboriginal and International Students
Nancy Goebel

CHAPTER 12. You Spin Me Right Round (Like a Record); Or, Does the Assessment Loop Ever Truly Close?
Iris Jahng

CHAPTER 13. Don?t Wait for Them to Come to You: Partnering with Student Support Services
Katie Bishop

CHAPTER 14. Assessing Information Literacy for Transfer Student Success
Karen Stanley Grigg

CHAPTER 15. Opening Doors for Libraries on Campus and Beyond
Ken Liss

CHAPTER 16. Professional Development for Assessment: Lessons from Reflective Practice
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

SECTION 3. Advancing Assessment to the Future

CHAPTER 17. Assessing for Alignment: How to Win Collaborators and Influence Stakeholders
Stephanie Mikitish, Vanessa Kitzie, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway

CHAPTER 18. Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe


APPENDIX A. Program Contributors and Participating Institutions

APPENDIX B. Connect, Collaborate, and Communicate: A Report from the Value of Academic Libraries Summits
Karen Brown and Kara J. Malenfant

APPENDIX C. Applying for the Assessment in Action Program

APPENDIX D. First Interim Narrative Report to Institute of Museum and Library Services

APPENDIX E. Second Interim Narrative Report to Institute of Museum and Library Services

APPENDIX F. Final Narrative Report to Institute of Museum and Library Services

APPENDIX G. Assessment in Action Syllabus 2015 - 2016

APPENDIX H. AiA Team Report Index: by Regional Accrediting Agency

APPENDIX I. Assessment in Action Comprehensive Bibliography

APPENDIX J. Assessment in Action Studies with Exemplary Design Elements

APPENDIX K. Progress Report on Planning Multi-Institutional Research on Library Value



Karen Brown

Karen Brown is a professor at Dominican University (River Forest, Illinois) in the School of Information Studies and teaches in the areas of assessment, 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, the University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Bard College. She holds a PhD in media ecology from New York University and master’s degrees in library science and adult education from the University of Wisconsin.

Debra Gilchrist

Debra Gilchrist is Vice President for Learning and Student Success at Pierce College, Lakewood, Washington. In addition to academic and student affairs, Gilchrist leads efforts focused on accreditation and achieving institutional outcomes. Her scholarship focuses on outcomes assessment as a tool for change; demonstrating the contributions of academic libraries through assessment of both learning and program impact and quality. She is an inaugural member of the ACRL Immersion Program and in 2007 was honored with the Miriam Dudley Award, which recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of instruction in a college or research library environment. Gilchrist earned her MLS from the University of Denver and her PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Oregon State University. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the leadership role of academic librarians to influence instructional change.

Sara Goek

Sara Goek is a Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow at ACRL where she serves as Program Manager contributing to efforts to improve research about academic library contributions to student learning and success. A historian by trade, prior to joining ACRL Sara worked as research faculty at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and as a lecturer, tutor, and post-doctoral researcher at University College Cork (UCC), Ireland. She holds a PhD in History/Digital Arts & Humanities and an MA in Historical Research from UCC, and a BA in History and Irish Studies from Boston College.

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe is the Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction and an associate professor for library administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. She has master’s degrees in educational psychology and library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign as well as a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

Kara Malenfant

Kara Malenfant is a senior staff member at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL, a division of the American Library Association), where she coordinates government relations advocacy and scholarly communication activities and is the lead staff member on the Value of Academic Libraries initiative. She provides consulting services on organizational 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. Prior to her experience as a librarian, Kara worked in Washington, DC, for the Armenian Assembly of America and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the first group posted to the Republic of Armenia. Kara holds a doctor of philosophy degree in leadership and change from Antioch University, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA in English from Allegheny College. Contact her at

Chase Ollis

Chase Ollis is ACRL’s Program Officer for Professional Development. He manages ACRL’s RoadShow program, awards program, and Conference scholarship program, and handles logistics and marketing for ACRL’s professional development program. Prior to joining ACRL, he worked as a circulation supervisor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker Legal Research Center. Chase holds an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA in both English and Communication Studies from Furman University.

Allison Payne

Allison Payne is ACRL’s Program Officer for Governance. She coordinates activities of the association’s Board of Directors and Budget & Finance Committee, prepares and maintains the ACRL budget, and manages division-level appointments. Prior to joining ACRL, Allison has been a library assistant at Kraft Foods Global Research & Development, worked at the University of Iowa Libraries’ Preservation Department, and tutored incarcerated youth in Chicago. She holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a BA in English with a minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa.