Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research

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Now more than ever, libraries in higher education must demonstrate their value. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has been at the forefront of supporting libraries as they demonstrate this value and recognizes that more research is needed to address an area critical to the higher education sector - institutional priorities for student learning and success. OCLC was selected to support this ongoing work after an open and competitive request for proposals issued by ACRL to investigate this area. The major outcomes of the project will aid librarians in communicating their value by focusing on both the current and potential future contributions of the library to student learning and success, with the overarching goals to:

  • depict current library value studies,
  • anticipate future work, research questions, and contributions to student learning and success, and
  • help academic librarians to effectively communicate their value with others in higher education.

Outcomes

Deliverables from the project include:

A report that:

  • identifies specific themes and trends related to the current state of library value studies and connects these themes and trends to student learning and success;
  • compiles a research agenda consisting of approximately 10 to 15 future-oriented, key, outstanding research questions that the literature and interview data suggest are essential for academic libraries to explore; and
  • defines the possible parameters for each question and explains related scholarly work in a way that is accessible to newer practitioner-scholars so they can articulate their research questions, design studies, and communicate results.

An interactive visualization dashboard that:

  • Allows researchers, practitioners, and students to search through the more than 500 documents analyzed in the report for attributes of interest related to communicating the impact of library collections, services, and spaces on student learning and success. Users can compile and share reference lists for further study and to aid their institutions’ efforts to communicate their own impact on learning and success.
  • Helps librarians and researchers visually explore the literature and other data in the form of charts and graphs, and helps them to communicate their value to constituencies by sharing these charts and graphs with stakeholders. Users can also import and visualize their own data related to their institutions’ work and its impact on student learning and success.

A book chapter Assessing for Alignment: How to Win Collaborators and Influence Stakeholders:

Mikitish, Stephanie, Vanessa Kitzie, and Lynn Silipigni Connaway. 2018. "Assessing for Alignment: How to Win Collaborators and Influence Stakeholders." In Shaping the Campus Conversation on Student Learning and Experience: Activating the Results of Assessment in Action, edited by Karen Brown, Debra Gilchrist, Sara Goek, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, Kara Malenfant, Chase Ollis, and Allison Payne, 213-222. Chicago: ACRL.

Much more detail about the project is available from the proposal to ACRL.

Publications

Association of College and Research Libraries. 2017. Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research. Prepared by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/publications/whitepapers/academiclib.pdf.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2017. “The Three Types of Library Professionals Who Absolutely Must Read the New ACRL/OCLC Academic Library Impact Report.” Next, November 21. http://www.oclc.org/blog/main/the-3-types-of-library-professionals-who-absolutely-must-read-the-new-acrloclc-academic-library-impact-report/.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish. 2017. Action-oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success. January 10.  http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/themes/acrl-research-agenda-jan-2017.pdf.

Radford, Marie L., Lynn Silipigni Connaway, and Stephanie Mikitish. 2017. “Crowdsourced Reference: Steering into Unchartered Waters?” In Proceedings of ACRL 2017 Conference: At the Helm: Leading the Transformation, March 22-25, 2017, Baltimore, Maryland, 160-170. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/2017/CrowdsourcedReference.pdf.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish. 2016. Action-oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Initial Report. November 7. http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/themes/acrl-research-agenda-nov-2016.pdf.

Events

Communicating Library Impact Beyond Library Walls: A Collaborative Effort
Lynn Silipigni Connaway
2017 ASIS&T Midwest Regional Conference
Columbus, Ohio
8 September 2017
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Communicating Library Impact Beyond Library Walls: A Collaborative Effort
Lynn Silipigni Connaway
IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2017
Wrocław, Poland
23 August 2017
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish 
Update on Value of Academic Libraries Initiative (ACRL) at the ALA Annual Conference 
Chicago, Illinois 
25 June 2017 
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Communicating Library Impact Beyond Library Walls: Findings from an Action-oriented Research Agenda
Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Alan Carbery 
ACRL Leadership Council at the ALA Annual Conference 
Chicago, Illinois 
23 June 2017

Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries in Times of Uncertainty: A Research Agenda for Student Learning and Success
Lynn Silipigni Connaway 
University of Hong Kong 
Hong Kong 
7 April 2016

Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries in Times of Uncertainty: A Research Agenda for Student Learning and Success
Lynn Silipigni Connaway 
University of Macau 
Macau 
6 April 2017

Changing Tack: A Future-Focused ACRL Research Agenda
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish 
ACRL 2017 Conference 
Baltimore, Maryland 
23 March 2017 

Where are We Going and What Do We Do Next? Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries in Time of Uncertainty
Lynn Silipigni Connaway 
RLUK Conference 2017 
London, United Kingdom 
9 March 2017

Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success 
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish 
ALA Midwinter Meeting 
Atlanta, Georgia 
22 January 2017

Update on ACRL Action-oriented Research Agenda
Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Vanessa Kitzie, Stephanie Mikitish, and Jaime Hammond
Virtual forum presented by ACRL
15 November 2016
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhOIR3u_Gdo&feature=youtu.be

What Do We Want to Know: Completing an Action-Oriented Research Agenda
Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Alan Carbery 
2016 Library Assessment Conference 
Arlington, Virginia 
2 November 2016 
http://old.libraryassessment.org/bm~doc/79-connaway-2016.pdf

Presentations

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2017. “Communicating Library Impact Beyond Library Walls: A Collaborative Effort.” Presented at the 2017 ASIS&T Midwest Regional Conference, Columbus, Ohio, September 8.
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2017. “Communicating Library Impact Beyond Library Walls: A Collaborative Effort.” Presented at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2017, Wrocław, Poland, August 23.
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish. 2017. “Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research.” Presented at the Update on Value of Academic Libraries Initiative (ACRL) at the ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 25.
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Alan Carbery. 2017. “Communicating Library Impact Beyond Library Walls: Findings from an Action-oriented Research Agenda.” Presented at the ACRL Leadership Council at the ALA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, June 23.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2016. “Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries in Times of Uncertainty: A Research Agenda for Student Learning and Success.” Presented at the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, April 7.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni. 2017. “Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries in Times of Uncertainty: A Research Agenda for Student Learning and Success.” Presented at the University of Macau, Macau, April 6.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish. 2017. “Changing Tack: A Future-Focused ACRL Research Agenda.” Presented at the ACRL 2017 Conference, Baltimore, Maryland, March 23.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni.  2017. “Where are We Going and What Do We Do Next? Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries in Time of Uncertainty.” Presented at the RLUK Conference 2017, London, United Kingdom, March 9.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, William Harvey, Vanessa Kitzie, and Stephanie Mikitish. 2017. “Action-Oriented Research Agenda on Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success.” Presented at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, January 22.
Download the presentation (.pptx)

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Vanessa Kitzie, Stephanie Mikitish, and Jaime Hammond. 2016. “Update on ACRL Action-oriented Research Agenda.” Virtual forum presented by ACRL, November 15.
View on YouTube.

Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, and Alan Carbery. 2016. “What Do We Want to Know: Completing an Action-Oriented Research Agenda.” Presented at the 2016 Library Assessment Conference, Arlington, Virginia, November 2.
http://old.libraryassessment.org/bm~doc/79-connaway-2016.pdf

In the News

Free, David. "ACRL Teams with OCLC Research for Research Agenda." College & Research Libraries News 77, no. 9 (2016): 428, http://crln.acrl.org/content/77/9/426.full.pdf+html.

Project Timeline

Project Plan and Schedule

Project Lead:

Lynn Silipigni Connaway

Team Members

Current