ALA Committees Involved in Assessment
Our working definition of assessment: based on the description of the charge in the ALA Handbook of Organization, "assessment committees" include any committee that deals with quantitative, evaluative, and comparative measurement of libraries.
If our definition is broadly applied, additional committees could also be considered as "assessment" committees. For example, many divisions and sections have their own committees for statistics, and several also deal with evaluation in some form. However, both of these generally relate to a particular service or function being provided.
ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services)
Collection Management and Development Section (CMDS)
Quantitative Measures for Collection Management – "explore, develop, and promote use of quantitative measure in the analysis of library collections"
ACRL (Association of College and Research Libraries)
Standards and Accreditation Committee – "direct the development of standards and guidelines... establish and maintain appropriate liaisons with accrediting agencies and other organizations that monitor and evaluate the performance of academic libraries"
Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (EBSS)
Communication Studies Committee – "activities include... evaluation and discussion of resources and services"
Instruction Section (IS)
Management of Instruction Services Committee – "identify and study issues relating to the management of library instruction services... to facilitate and encourage improvement in the management and evaluation of library instruction services"
RUSA (Reference and User Services Association)
Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES)
Collection Development Policies and Assessment Committee – "identifies, develops, evaluates, and disseminates information and resources relevant for... assessment techniques "
Machine-Assisted Reference Section (MARS)
Education, Training and Support Committee – "create, collect, analyze, and disseminate information and materials on the development, implementation, and evaluation of education, training and support for... electronic reference services"
LAMA (Library Administration and Management Association)
Buildings and Equipment Section (BES)
Functional Space Requirements – "assess the current status of national space allocation standards and guidelines; to develop new standards for physical space requirements for libraries in conjunction with other ALA units and external organizations such as AIA, ANSI, ASTM, and NISO"
Human Resources Section (HRS)
Staff Development Committee - "facilitate and promote effective staff development programs in order to maximize staff abilities to successfully perform their responsibilities and thereby improve overall library effectiveness. Cooperating with other ALA units, the Committee devises appropriate means for exchanging information and highlighting research. Areas of staff development in which the Committee has an ongoing concern are needs assessment, goals and objectives, policy statements, responsibilities of staff development personnel, program design, successful learning activities, available resources, and evaluation techniques"
Library Organization and Management Section (LOMS)
Comparative Library Organization Committee - "collect information regarding organizations and structures as they relate to libraries; to conduct or sponsor educational programs regarding organization trends, developments, and theories; and to conduct and/or recommend research related to this concern"
Planning and Evaluation of Library Services - "provide a forum in which individuals interested in both the theoretical and practical aspects of planning and evaluation of library services may exchange information; to analyze existing methodologies and ideas regarding the planning and evaluation of library services; to assist other interested individuals with information regarding the planning and evaluation of library services; to introduce innovative approaches to improve the process of planning and evaluation of library services"
Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation Section (MAES)
- "exercises overall responsibility for all matters pertaining to needs for and uses of measurement of library resources, services, and facilities, regardless of type of library or functional activity. The Section works with other organizations, agencies, and associations in planning and advising in areas of library measurement, evaluation, and assessment; recommends and /or prepares guidelines, standards, and tools to be used in measurement, evaluation, and assessment activities; and, recommends inclusions, definitions, procedures, and policies concerning library quantitative and qualitative assessment."
Data Collection for Library Managers Committee - "investigate current data collection methodologies and techniques for library managers; to identify needs for standard definitions of data elements and forms; to provide resources for library managers to develop skill in data collection; to promote proven methodologies; to encourage adherence to national standards at the local level."
Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS)
Trends Awareness Committee - "identify trends affecting libraries or developments in public perception of libraries such as changes in readership patterns, the growth or decline of continuing education, or issues in intellectual freedom. To develop environmental scanning techniques to forecast policy issues affecting library science and to indicate public relations solutions where appropriate"
Systems and Services Section (SASS)
Management Practices Committee - "collect, organize, and disseminate information on management practices for all types of libraries in the area of systems and services. The focus of work will be on the management of technology related to these two areas – on applications rather than theory. Activities will include but not be limited to the encouragement of research, the development of standards, and the general study of issues in this area."
Please send comments & questions to the STS Web EditorLast updated: Cinco de Mayo, 2006