Demonstrating academic library impact to faculty: a case study
peer-review for the digital library perspective
notes available upon request
library data should focus on “impact”, not “size” to engage faculty.
more on attrition and retention in academic in this IMS blog
Survey Highlights Digitization’s Impact on Campus Libraries
By David Raths 05/22/17
nonprofit Ithaka S+R. The study, Ithaka S+R Library Survey 2016, highlighted a number of challenges facing library directors in an era of increased digitization. Future Trends Forum video chat May 19 hosted by Bryan Alexander.
Alexander zeroed in on the finding that library directors feel increasingly less valued by supervisors such as chief academic officers.
Not surprisingly, the survey illustrates a broad shift toward electronic resources, Wolff-Eisenberg noted, with an increasing number of libraries developing policies for de-accessioning print materials that are also available digitally.
library directors are increasingly recognizing that discovery does not always happen in the library. Compared to the 2013 survey results, fewer library directors believe that it is important that the library is seen by its users as the first place that they go to discover content, and fewer believe that the library is always the best place for researchers at their institution to start their research.
There is also a substantial gap between how faculty members and library directors perceive the library’s contribution in supporting student learning. Both tend to agree that students have poor research skills, Wolff-Eisenberg noted. The faculty members see it as more of a problem, but they are less likely than library directors to see librarians contributing to student learning by helping them to develop research skills
The positions for which respondents anticipate the most growth in the next five years are related to instructional design (my note: this is IMS), information literacy and specialized faculty research support involving digital humanities, geographical information systems (GIS) and data management.
more on digitization in academic libraries in this IMS blog
How can academic libraries best help students sort through the growing thicket of online information? By Stanley Wilder
The premise of information literacy is that the supply of information has become overwhelming, and that students need a rigorous program of instruction in research or library-use skills, provided wholly or in part by librarians.
The idea behind information literacy is that our typical freshman is drowning in information, when in fact Google provides her with material she finds good enough, and does so instantaneously. Information literacy assumes that she accepts unquestioningly the information she finds on the Internet, when we know from research that she is a skeptic who filters her results to the best of her ability. Information literacy tells us that she cannot recognize when she needs information, nor can she find, analyze, or use it, when she demonstrably does all of those things perfectly well, albeit at a relatively unsophisticated level.
Simply put, information literacy perceives a problem that does not exist. Furthermore, it misses the real threat of the Internet altogether—which is that it is now sufficiently simple and powerful that students can graduate without ever using the library. That is unfortunate because, for all its strengths, the Internet cannot give students the high-quality scholarly information that is available only through subscription, license, or purchase.
As Roy Tennant noted in the January 1, 2001, Library Journal, “only librarians like to search; everyone else likes to find.” Any educational philosophy is doomed to failure if it views students as information seekers in need of information-seeking training.
Information literacy is also harmful because it encourages librarians to teach ways to deal with the complexity of information retrieval, rather than to try to reduce that complexity.
“The library is a place where readers come to write, and writers come to read.” Dow casts students not as information seekers, but as apprentices engaged in a continuous cycle of reading and writing.
Librarians should use their expertise to deepen students’ understanding of the disciplines they study. My note: ant that’s why LRS needs area specialists, not traditional librarians.
The library must also do a better job of reaching more students, more often. Librarians need to use their expertise to make the library’s online presence approach the simplicity and power of the Internet.
about early adults and their research habits
David Demaine, S., Lemmer, C. A., Keele, B. J., & Alcasid, H. (2015). Using Digital Badges to Enhance Research Instruction in Academic Libraries. In B. L. Eden (Ed.), Enhancing Teaching and Learning in the 21st-Century Academic Library: Successful Innovations That Make a Difference (2015th ed.). Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2882671
At their best, badges can create a sort of interactive e-resume.
the librarian may be invited into the classroom, or the students may be sent to the Iibrary for a single research lesson on databases and search tem1s- not enough for truly high-quality research. A better alternative may be that the professor require the students to complete a series of badges- designed, implemented, and managed by the librarian- that build thorough research skills and ultimately produce a better paper.
Meta- badges are s impl y badges that indicate comp letion o f multiple related badges.
Authentication (determining that the badge has not been altered) and validation/verification (checking that the badge has actually been earned and issued by the stated issuer) are major concerns. lt is also important, particularly in the academic context, to make sure that the badge does not come to replace the learning it represents. A badge is a symbol that other skills and knowledge exist in this individual’s portfolio of skills and talents. Therefore, badges awarded in the educational context must reflect time and effort and be based on vetted standards, or they will become empty symbols
Digital credentialing recognizes “learning of many kinds which are acquired beyond formal education institutions .. . ; it proliferates and disperses author- ity over what learning to recognize; and it provides a means of translation and commensuration across multiple spheres” (Oineck, 2012, p. I)
University digital badge projects are rarely a top-down undertaking. Typi- cally, digital badge programs arise from collaborative efforts “of people agi- tating from the middle” (Raths, 2013).
Please email completed forms to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than noon on Thursday, October 5.
According to the email below, library faculty are asked to provide their feedback regarding the qualifications for a possible faculty line at the library.
- In the fall of 2013 during a faculty meeting attended by the back than library dean and during a discussion of an article provided by the dean, it was established that leading academic libraries in this country are seeking to break the mold of “library degree” and seek fresh ideas for the reinvention of the academic library by hiring faculty with more diverse (degree-wise) background.
- Is this still the case at the SCSU library? The “democratic” search for the answer of this question does not yield productive results, considering that the majority of the library faculty are “reference” and they “democratically” overturn votes, who see this library to be put on 21st century standards and rather seek more “reference” bodies for duties, which were recognized even by the same reference librarians as obsolete.
It seems that the majority of the SCSU library are “purists” in the sense of seeking professionals with broader background (other than library, even “reference” skills).
In addition, most of the current SCSU librarians are opposed to a second degree, as in acquiring more qualification, versus seeking just another diploma. There is a certain attitude of stagnation / intellectual incest, where new ideas are not generated and old ideas are prepped in “new attire” to look as innovative and/or 21st
Last but not least, a consistent complain about workforce shortages (the attrition politics of the university’s reorganization contribute to the power of such complain) fuels the requests for reference librarians and, instead of looking for new ideas, new approaches and new work responsibilities, the library reorganization conversation deteriorates into squabbles for positions among different department.
Most importantly, the narrow sightedness of being stuck in traditional work description impairs most of the librarians to see potential allies and disruptors. E.g., the insistence on the supremacy of “information literacy” leads SCSU librarians to the erroneous conclusion of the exceptionality of information literacy and the disregard of multi[meta] literacies, thus depriving the entire campus of necessary 21st century skills such as visual literacy, media literacy, technology literacy, etc.
Simultaneously, as mentioned above about potential allies and disruptors, the SCSU librarians insist on their “domain” and if they are not capable of leading meta-literacies instructions, they would also not allow and/or support others to do so.
Considering the observations above, the following qualifications must be considered:
- According to the information in this blog post:
for the past year and ½, academic libraries are hiring specialists with the following qualifications and for the following positions (bolded and / or in red). Here are some highlights:
Librarian and Instructional Technology Liaison
library Specialist: Data Visualization & Collections Analytics
Advanced degree required, preferably in education, educational technology, instructional design, or MLS with an emphasis in instruction and assessment.
Data visualization skills
multi [ meta] literacy skills
Data curation, helping students working with data
Experience with website creation and design in a CMS environment and accessibility and compliance issues
Demonstrated a high degree of facility with technologies and systems germane to the 21st century library, and be well versed in the issues surrounding scholarly communications and compliance issues (e.g. author identifiers, data sharing software, repositories, among others)
Provides and develops awareness and knowledge related to digital scholarship and research lifecycle for librarians and staff.
Experience developing for, and supporting, common open-source library applications such as Omeka, ArchiveSpace, Dspace,
Establishing best practices for digital humanities labs, networks, and services
Assessing, evaluating, and peer reviewing DH projects and librarians
Actively promote TIGER or GRIC related activities through social networks and other platforms as needed.
Coordinates the transmission of online workshops through Google HangoutsScript metadata transformations and digital object processing using BASH, Python, and XSLT
liaison consults with faculty and students in a wide range of disciplines on best practices for teaching and using data/statistical software tools such as R, SPSS, Stata, and MatLab.
In response to the form attached to the Friday, September 29, email regarding St. Cloud State University Library Position Request Form:
Digital Initiatives Librarian
TBD, but generally:
– works with faculty across campus on promoting digital projects and other 21st century projects. Works with the English Department faculty on positioning the SCSU library as an equal participants in the digital humanities initiatives on campus
- Works with the Visualization lab to establish the library as the leading unit on campus in interpretation of big data
- Works with academic technology services on promoting library faculty as the leading force in the pedagogical use of academic technologies.
- Quantitative data justification
this is a mute requirement for an innovative and useful library position. It can apply for a traditional request, such as another “reference” librarian. There cannot be a quantitative data justification for an innovative position, as explained to Keith Ewing in 2015. In order to accumulate such data, the position must be functioning at least for six months.
- Qualitative justification: Please provide qualitative explanation that supports need for this position.
Numerous 21st century academic tendencies right now are scattered across campus and are a subject of political/power battles rather than a venue for campus collaboration and cooperation. Such position can seek the establishment of the library as the natural hub for “sandbox” activities across campus. It can seek a redirection of using digital initiatives on this campus for political gains by administrators and move the generation and accomplishment of such initiatives to the rightful owner and primary stakeholders: faculty and students.
Currently, there are no additional facilities and resources required. Existing facilities and resources, such as the visualization lab, open source and free application can be used to generate the momentum of faculty working together toward a common goal, such as, e.g. digital humanities.
Notes from the webinar: https://umn.webex.com/umn/j.php?MTID=m2f3186267dababf407f36d3c2060f34c
Virginia Connell. Concordia
seems that the “library portion” was only regarding information literacy. I am wondering if the metaliteracy (e.g. visual literacy – how to present) was included and/or is intended to be included
from Plamen Miltenoff to everyone:
I am also wondering if the book can be “templated” and offered to other campuses to be adapted
from Louann to everyone:
I think the value in this could be in faculty exposure –and potential faculty advocates spreading the word
Kathy Johnson from St John’s how much work does it entail. Difficult to quantify. Resize photographs.
Virginia Connell, if there is a WordPress person (myself) and content specialist, it is manageable.
was there already projects going on on the campus. Library-sponsored
Shane Nackerud: need for support when using WordPress,
Terri Fishel to everyone:
Would there be a way to develop a shared FAQ document with issues such as this for the group?
In 2015, former library dean purchased two large touch-screen monitors (I believe paid $3000 each). Shortly before that, I had offered to the campus fitting applications for touch screens (being that large screens or mobiles):
Both applications fit perfect the idea of interactivity in teaching (and learning) – http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=interactivity
With the large touch screens, I proposed to have one of the large screens, positioned outside in the Miller Center lobby and used as a dummy terminal (50” + screens run around $700) to mount educational material (e.g. Guenter Grass’s celebration of his work: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2015/04/15/gunter-grass-1927-2015/ ) and have students explore by actively engaging, rather than just passively absorbing information. The bus-awaiting students are excellent potential users and they visibly are NOT engaged by by the currently broadcasted information on these screens, but can be potentially engaged if such information is restructured in interactive content.
The initial library administration approval was stalled by a concern with students “opening porno sites” while the library is closed which, indeed, would have been a problem.
My 2015 inquiry with the IT technicians about freezing a browser and a specific tab, which could prevent such issues, but it did not go far (pls see solution below). Failing to secure relatively frigid environment on the touch screen, the project was quietly left to rot.
I am renewing my proposal to consider the rather expensive touch screen monitors, which have been not utilized to their potential, and test my idea to engage students in a meaningful knowledge-building by using these applications to either create content or engage with content created by others.
Further, I am proposing that I investigate with campus faculty the possibility to bring the endeavor a step further by having a regularly-meeting group to develop engaging content using these and similar apps; for their own classes or any other [campus-related] activities. The incentive can be some reward, after users and creators “vote” the best (semester? Academic year?) project. The less conspicuous benefit will be the exposure of faculty to modern technology; some of the faculty are still abiding by lecturing style, other faculty, who seek interactivity are engulfed in the “smart board” fiction. Engaging the faculty in the touch screen creation of teaching materials will allow them to expand the practice to their and their students’ mobile devices. The benefit for the library will be the “hub” of activities, where faculty can learn from each other experience[s] in the library, rather than in their own departments/school only. The reward will be an incentive from the upper administration (document to attach in PDR?). I will need both your involvement/support. Tom Hergert by helping me rally faculty interest and the administrators incentivizing faculty to participate in the initial project, until it gains momentum and recognition.
In the same fashion, as part of the aforementioned group or separate, I would like to host a regularly-meeting group of students, who besides play and entertainment, aim the same process of creating interactive learning materials for their classes/projects. Same “best voted” process by peers. My preferable reward: upper administration is leaving recommendation in the students’ Linkedin account for future employers. I will need both your involvement/support. The student union can be decisive in bringing students to this endeavor. Both of you have more cloud with the student union then only a regular faculty such as me.
In regard to the security (porn alert, see above) I have the agreement of Dr. Tirthankar Ghos with the IS Department. Dr. Ghosh will be most pleased to announce as a class project the provision of a secure environment for the touch screen monitor to be left after the group meetings for “use” by students in the library. Dr. Ghosh is, however, concerned/uncertain with the level of cooperation from IT, considering that for his students to enable such environment, they have to have the “right” access; namely behind firewalls, administrative privileges etc. Each of you will definitely be more persuasive with Phil Thorson convincing him in the merit of having IS student work with SCSU IT technician, since it is a win-win situation: the IT technician does not have to “waste time” (as in 2015) and resolve an issue and the IS student will be having a project-based, real-life learning experience by enabling the project under the supervision of the IT technician. Besides: a. student-centered, project-based learning; b. IT technician time saved, we also aim c. no silos / collaborative SCSU working environment, as promised by the reorganization process.
THE VALUE OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIES
A Comprehensive Research Review and Report. Megan Oakleaf
Librarians in universities, colleges, and community colleges can establish, assess, and link
academic library outcomes to institutional outcomes related to the following areas:
student enrollment, student retention and graduation rates, student success, student
achievement, student learning, student engagement, faculty research productivity,
faculty teaching, service, and overarching institutional quality.
Assessment management systems help higher education educators, including librarians, manage their outcomes, record and maintain data on each outcome, facilitate connections to
similar outcomes throughout an institution, and generate reports.
Assessment management systems are helpful for documenting progress toward
strategic/organizational goals, but their real strength lies in managing learning
to determine the impact of library interactions on users, libraries can collect data on how individual users engage with library resources and services.
increase library impact on student enrollment.
p. 13-14improved student retention and graduation rates. High -impact practices include: first -year seminars and experiences, common intellectual experiences, learning communities, writing – intensive courses, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, Value of Academic Libraries diversity/global learning, service learning/community -based learning, internships, capstone courses and projects
Libraries support students’ ability to do well in internships, secure job placements, earn salaries, gain acceptance to graduate/professional schools, and obtain marketable skills.
librarians can investigate correlations between student library interactions and their GPA well as conduct test item audits of major professional/educational tests to determine correlations between library services or resources and specific test items.
p. 15 Review course content, readings, reserves, and assignments.
Track and increase library contributions to faculty research productivity.
Continue to investigate library impact on faculty grant proposals and funding, a means of generating institutional income. Librarians contribute to faculty grant proposals in a number of ways.
Demonstrate and improve library support of faculty teaching.
p. 20 Internal Focus: ROI – lib value = perceived benefits / perceived costs
production of a commodity – value=quantity of commodity produced × price per unit of commodity
p. 21 External focus
a fourth definition of value focuses on library impact on users. It asks, “What is the library trying to achieve? How can librarians tell if they have made a difference?” In universities, colleges, and community colleges, libraries impact learning, teaching, research, and service. A main method for measuring impact is to “observe what the [users] are actually doing and what they are producing as a result”
A fifth definition of value is based on user perceptions of the library in relation to competing alternatives. A related definition is “desired value” or “what a [user] wants to have happen when interacting with a [library] and/or using a [library’s] product or service” (Flint, Woodruff and Fisher Gardial 2002) . Both “impact” and “competing alternatives” approaches to value require libraries to gain new understanding of their users’ goals as well as the results of their interactions with academic libraries.
p. 23 Increasingly, academic library value is linked to service, rather than products. Because information products are generally produced outside of libraries, library value is increasingly invested in service aspects and librarian expertise.
service delivery supported by librarian expertise is an important library value.
p. 25 methodology based only on literature? weak!
p. 26 review and analysis of the literature: language and literature are old (e.g. educational administrators vs ed leaders).
G government often sees higher education as unresponsive to these economic demands. Other stakeholder groups —students, pa rents, communities, employers, and graduate/professional schools —expect higher education to make impacts in ways that are not primarily financial.
Because institutional missions vary (Keeling, et al. 2008, 86; Fraser, McClure and
Leahy 2002, 512), the methods by which academic libraries contribute value vary as
well. Consequently, each academic library must determine the unique ways in which they contribute to the mission of their institution and use that information to guide planning and decision making (Hernon and Altman, Assessing Service Quality 1998, 31) . For example, the University of Minnesota Libraries has rewritten their mission and vision to increase alignment with their overarching institution’s goals and emphasis on strategic engagement (Lougee 2009, allow institutional missions to guide library assessment
Assessment vs. Research
In community colleges, colleges, and universities, assessment is about defining the
purpose of higher education and determining the nature of quality (Astin 1987)
Academic libraries serve a number of purposes, often to the point of being
Assessment “strives to know…what is” and then uses that information to change the
status quo (Keeling, et al. 2008, 28); in contrast, research is designed to test
hypotheses. Assessment focuses on observations of change; research is concerned with the degree of correlation or causation among variables (Keeling, et al. 2008, 35) . Assessment “virtually always occurs in a political context ,” while research attempts to be apolitical” (Upcraft and Schuh 2002, 19) .
p. 31 Assessment seeks to document observations, but research seeks to prove or disprove ideas. Assessors have to complete assessment projects, even when there are significant design flaws (e.g., resource limitations, time limitations, organizational contexts, design limitations, or political contexts); whereas researchers can start over (Upcraft and Schuh 2002, 19) . Assessors cannot always attain “perfect” studies, but must make do with “good enough” (Upcraft and Schuh 2002, 18) . Of course, assessments should be well planned, be based on clear outcomes (Gorman 2009, 9- 10) , and use appropriate methods (Keeling, et al. 2008, 39) ; but they “must be comfortable with saying ‘after’ as well as ‘as a result of’…experiences” (Ke eling, et al. 2008, 35) .
Two multiple measure approaches are most significant for library assessment: 1) triangulation “where multiple methods are used to find areas of convergence of data from different methods with an aim of overcoming the biases or limitations of data gathered from any one particular method” (Keeling, et al. 2008, 53) and 2) complementary mixed methods , which “seek to use data from multiple methods to build upon each other by clarifying, enhancing, or illuminating findings between or among methods” (Keeling, et al. 2008, 53) .
p. 34 Academic libraries can help higher education institutions retain and graduate students, a keystone part of institutional missions (Mezick 2007, 561) , but the challenge lies in determining how libraries can contribute and then document their contribution
p. 35. Student Engagement: In recent years, academic libraries have been transformed to provide “technology and content ubiquity” as well as individualized support
My Note: I read the “technology and content ubiquity” as digital literacy / metaliteracies, where basic technology instructional sessions (everything that IMS offers for years) is included, but this library still clenches to information literacy only.
p. 37 Student Learning
In the past, academic libraries functioned primarily as information repositories; now they are becoming learning enterprises (Bennett 2009, 194) . This shift requires academic librarians to embed library services and resources in the teaching and learning activities of their institutions (Lewis 2007) . In the new paradigm, librarians focus on information skills, not information access (Bundy 2004, 3); they think like educators, not service providers (Bennett 2009, 194) .
p. 38. For librarians, the main content area of student learning is information literacy; however, they are not alone in their interest in student inform ation literacy skills (Oakleaf, Are They Learning? 2011).
My note: Yep. it was. 20 years ago. Metaliteracies is now.
p. 41 surrogates for student learning in Table 3.
p. 42 strategic planning for learning:
According to Kantor, the university library “exists to benefit the students of the educational institution as individuals ” (Library as an Information Utility 1976 , 101) . In contrast, academic libraries tend to assess learning outcomes using groups of students
p. 45 Assessment Management Systems
Each assessment management system has a slightly different set of capabilities. Some guide outcomes creation, some develop rubrics, some score student work, or support student portfolios. All manage, maintain, and report assessment data
p. 46 faculty teaching
However, as online collections grow and discovery tools evolve, that role has become less critical (Schonfeld and Housewright 2010; Housewright and Schonfeld, Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders 2008, 256) . Now, libraries serve as research consultants, project managers, technical support professionals, purchasers , and archivists (Housewright, Themes of Change 2009, 256; Case 2008) .
Librarians can count citations of faculty publications (Dominguez 2005)
Tenopir, C. (2012). Beyond usage: measuring library outcomes and value. Library Management, 33(1/2), 5-13.
methods that can be used to measure the value of library products and services. (Oakleaf, 2010; Tenopir and King, 2007): three main categories
- Implicit value. Measuring usage through downloads or usage logs provide an implicit measure of value. It is assumed that because libraries are used, they are of value to the users. Usage of e-resources is relatively easy to measure on an ongoing basis and is especially useful in collection development decisions and comparison of specific journal titles or use across subject disciplines.
do not show purpose, satisfaction, or outcomes of use (or whether what is downloaded is actually read).
- Explicit methods of measuring value include qualitative interview techniques that ask faculty members, students, or others specifically about the value or outcomes attributed to their use of the library collections or services and surveys or interviews that focus on a specific (critical) incident of use.
- Derived values, such as Return on Investment (ROI), use multiple types of data collected on both the returns (benefits) and the library and user costs (investment) to explain value in monetary terms.
more on ROI in this IMS blog
Academic Librarianship Today
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 1:00 PM Central
Hosted by Yale University Library’s Todd Gilman, this webinar offers multiple expert perspectives on the transformation of libraries as information organizations, the influence of technology on how we provide academic information resources and services in a digital and global environment, and the various career opportunities available for academic librarians now and in the future. The speakers offer broad and diverse views, ranging from those of senior administrators and practitioners working in North American academic libraries large and small to thought leaders from recognized non-profit organizations devoted to research and strategic guidance for libraries in the digital age, to library school faculty. What emerges is a library landscape at once full of promise and exciting initiatives yet beset by seemingly insurmountable challenges-how to attract and retain the talent needed for current and future professional roles, how to keep up with ever-advancing computer technology, and how to pay for all this along with the vast quantity of research materials our ambitious and accomplished patrons demand.
Developing a Website Content Strategy
Instructor: Shoshana Mayden, Dates: July 3-28, 2017
Shoshana Mayden is a content strategist with the University of Arizona Libraries in Tucson, Arizona. She advises on issues related to website content and contributes to developing a content strategy across multiple channels for the library. She works with content managers and library stakeholders to re-write, re-think and re-organize content for the main library website, as well as develop workflows related to the lifecycle of content. She also a copy editor for Weave: the Journal of Library User Experience.
Information Architecture: Designing Navigation for Library Websites
Instructor: Laura-Edythe Coleman
Information Architecture is an essential component of user-centered design of information spaces, especially websites. Website navigation is a key design device to help users search and browse library websites and information systems. The design of Website navigation can be simple or complex, flat or deep. In all cases, website navigation should take into account information architecture (IA) best practices, common user tasks in the library domain, user research, analytics and information seeking models.
Laura-Edythe Coleman is a Museum Informaticist: her focus is on the point of convergence for museums, information, people, and technology. Knowing that societies need museums for creating and sustaining cultural memory, she strives to help communities co-create heritage collections with museums. She holds a PhD in Information Science, a Masters of Library and Information Science and a Bachelors of Fine Arts. She can be reached via Twitter: @lauraedythe, website: http://www.lauraedythe.com, or by email email@example.com
more on Libary web site in this IMS blog