Reflections on the Library Assessment Conference

Enrique Caboverde III
Library Associate, Cataloging
Florida International University

Some moments in our lives have a way of exposing how incomplete our perceptions of reality are—the Library Assessment Conference (LAC) 2016 was mine. I don’t mean this in a negative way; on the contrary, though sobering it was inspiring. As a library and information science student just finishing my first year, my only experience of assessment in an academic library was partaking in an observational study at my institution; unbeknownst to me was how multifaceted, impactful, and incredibly essential assessment in libraries could be. From the brilliant keynote talks to the dizzying number of presentations in each session, I was all at once overwhelmed yet intrigued by the various manners in which studies could assist in determining direction or in advocating for our libraries.

To be quite honest, I initially felt a bit inadequate. However, my insecurities proved to be unfounded as I discovered that attendees were genuinely friendly and more than willing to share from their experiences; I was even fortunate to have made some connections at libraries both in the US and overseas. My experience at LAC 2016 has animated my interest in assessment, and motivated me to register for a class on research in libraries this next semester, hopefully preparing me to be of better assistance to my library in the future. I would like to sincerely thank ARL and the planning committee for the travel award allowing me the privilege to present at the conference; and would like to wholeheartedly encourage any student or librarian interested in assessment to consider attending LAC 2018.

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