Action Plan for Outcomes Assessment in Your Library

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"How have users of our library changed as a direct result of their contact with our collections and services?"
--from the Preface

This book will help you to not only answer this question, but also prove your findings. Walking you through the process of assessing if and how well students and library users are learning from educational resources, two expert academic library experts team up to provide An Action Plan for Outcomes Assessment in Your Library. This comprehensive plan, the first of its kind and specifically for librarians, provides data collection tools for measuring both learning and research outcomes that link outcomes to user satisfaction. After all, it is the users who will benefit from learning, and so their experiences are integral to the way libraries measure their services and performance.

This practical, how-to manual, with detailed case studies from actual outcomes assessment programs, will prepare you to:

  • Plan an outcomes assessment strategy for your library that is in line with accrediting guidelines
  • Execute your plan by identifying user needs, collecting and analyzing data, and presenting your findings
  • Measure the value of the services you are providing and identify areas for improvement

Armed with hands-on tools and real-life examples, you will be inspired to get a handle on how successful your services are in the context of what your students and users need and want. Included are policies of major accrediting bodies for higher education, guidelines developed by the Association for Research and College Libraries, and a chapter that applies academic library outcomes assessment to public libraries.

Libraries can maintain accreditation and funding, assess student and user learning, and determine the library's role in graduate and faculty research as they demonstrate their effectiveness using outcomes assessment. This innovative action plan provides tools and data collection instruments that is based on the latest research and adaptable to any type of library.


Chapter 1: A New Day Is Here
Chapter 2: Assessment Plans, Reports, and Guides in Institutions of Higher Educations
Chapter 3: Developing an Assessment Plan for Measuring Student Learning Outcomes
Chapter 4: Information Literacy Assessment Efforts of Some Academic Libraries
Chapter 5: Moving Public Libraries Toward Outcomes Assessment
Chapter 6: Outcomes as a Type of Assessment
Chapter 7: The Research Process
Chapter 8: Evidence Demonstrating the Achievement of Outcomes
Chapter 9: Service Quality and Satisfaction
Chapter 10: Making a Commitment to Accountability and Learning Outcomes Assessment
Some Recommended Resources

Peter Hernon

Peter Hernon is a professor emeritus at Simmons College, Boston, and was the principal (and founding) faculty member for the doctoral program, Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions. He received his PhD degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and was the 2008 recipient of the Association of College and Research Libraries' award for Academic/Research Librarian of the Year, the founding editor of Government Information Quarterly, and past editor-in- chief of The Journal of Academic Librarianship. He is the coeditor of Library & Information Science Research and has taught, conducted workshops, and delivered addresses in eleven countries outside the United States. He is the author or co-author of 57 books, including the award-winning Federal Information Policies in the 1980s (1985) and Viewing Library Metrics from Different Perspectives (2009).

Robert E. Dugan

Robert E. Dugan is director of the Mildred F. Sawyer Library at Suffolk University in Boston. He has worked in libraries for more than 27 years serving as associate university librarian, state librarian, public library director, and reference librarian. Dugan is the author of more than 40 articles on information policy and the use of technology and has coauthored two books, including U.S. Government on the Web.

"...relevant to any library wishing to measure success of services in terms of what library users need and want."
—The Australian Library Journal

"This timely resources is excellent as a concise review of the assessment movement with specific applications for academic and public libraries. All of the institutional examples are referenced to planning documents, journal articles, and Web sites with fuller information. Most useful are the definitions of terms frequently used in accreditation standards and assessment planning, related examples of behavioral outcomes for student learning and survey instruments appropriate for public and academic libraries... This is an essential resource for both academic and public libraries. Academic libraries in particular should consider this book as a working tool long before the regional accreditation self-study begins."

"Academic librarians involved in assessment will find it invaluable."
—Reference & User Services Quarterly

"...a valuable contribution to the as yet embryonic literature concerned with ways of determining the outcomes of library services... Readers should be grateful to Hernon and Dugan for combining their unique expertise to help that debate forward as well as for many wise and practical recommendations in the book."
—Journal of Academic Librarianship

"As the authors promise, this book does provide the framework and definition of what outcomes assessments should include and how other academic libraries and institutions have gone about doing them."
—MLS Book Review

"Overall, Hernon and Dugan have provided a sound introduction to assessment in academic libraries; their book is an excellent starting place for any librarian charged with developing an assessment plan."

"...provides a detailed account of the four stages of the research process for outcomes assessment—a useful guide for anyone planning to engage in such a project, how to interpret outcomes assessment measures and how to collect relevant data... The text makes for interesting general reading."
—The Australian Library Journal

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