ARL Assessment Activities at ALA Midwinter 2016

ARL hosted a series of three meetings focused on library assessment issues on January 8. The first was a roundtable of former participants in the March and November 2014 and May and October 2015 sessions of Leading a Strategic Assessment Program in a Research Library: An ARL Seminar. The group shared updates on their local assessment efforts as well as feedback on the seminar and ways in which it could be improved.

The second meeting, the Library Assessment Forum, was a broader gathering of library professionals to discuss the latest developments in assessment. Speakers included ARL Assessment Committee chair and University of Louisville dean of libraries Bob Fox, who discussed how he used data to develop recent renovation projects within his library; Library Assessment Conference co-chair Steve Hiller, who presented details of the 2016 conference scheduled for October; and Montana State University dean of libraries Kenning Arlitsch, who spoke about a current IMLS-funded research project assessing the use of institutional repositories.

The final meeting was a gathering of ARL survey coordinators and SPEC Kit liaisons focused on the logistical matters of upcoming surveys and general issues impacting the design of future instruments. Topics of discussion included the reasoning behind the recent divergence of the ARL and ACRL annual statistical surveys and the need to include a broader group of stakeholders (e.g., those involved in the collection of data and other assessment professionals) in the design of future ARL surveys.

All three meetings were filled with lively discussions and provided us with ideas to take back to the Assessment Committee as well as to the ARL team that works on all of the assessment programs and services.

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