Assessment in Action

Bring the one-day workshop, "Assessment in Action: Demonstrating and Communicating Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success," to your campus, chapter, or consortia. The workshop is led by one or two expert presenters at locations upon request. Please contact ACRL Program Officer Chase Ollis at or 800/545-2433 ext. 2521 to discuss dates and locations, pricing, and for complete workshop details.

Program Description

Higher education institutions of all types are facing intensified attention to assessment and accountability issues. Academic libraries are increasingly connecting with colleagues and campus stakeholders to design and implement assessment that documents their contributions to institutional priorities. In this day-long workshop on strategic and sustainable assessment, participants will identify institutional priorities and campus partners, design an assessment project grounded in action research, and prepare a plan for communicating the project results. This workshop is based on the highly successful ACRL Assessment in Action program curriculum.

Learning Outcomes

Workshop participants will be able to...

  • Apply action research as a means to designing robust assessment plans, practices, and processes.
  • Implement assessment practices that document the impact of libraries on student learning, academic programs and activities, and institutional initiatives.
  • Collaborate with key campus partners to plan and conduct assessment that aligns library outcomes with institutional initiatives, priorities, and assessment activities.
  • Use the results of assessment and action research to foster support for library contributions to student learning and success.

Who Should Attend

This workshop is intended for all librarians, library staff, and library administrators who seek to design and implement an assessment project that investigates the impact of the library on student learning and success. The workshop is particularly relevant for those who are interested in working with campus partners and aligning assessment with institutional priorities. Attendees are not expected to have previous experience with assessment.

Sample Schedule

Time Activity
1 hour Introduction to Assessment and Action Research
30 minutes Aligning with Institutional Priorities
20 minutes Break
50 minutes Assessment Cycle: Outcomes and Criteria
Developing an Inquiry Question
45 minutes Assessment Cycle: Evidence and Tools
1 hour, 15 minutes Lunch
1 hour Assessment Cycle: Alignment and Casual Claims
Assessment Cycle: Analysis and Interpretation
20 minutes Break
1 hour, 10 minutes Taking Action and Communication
Collaborators and Stakeholders
30 minutes Personal Learning Plan
Community of Practice
Next Steps


Karen Brown

Karen Brown is a professor at Dominican University (River Forest, Illinois) in the School of Information Studies and teaches in the areas of assessment, collection management, foundations of the profession, and literacy and learning. She is the recipient of the University’s 2002 Follett Excellence in Teaching Award. Karen served as the project analyst for ACRL’s Assessment in Action grant project, 2013-2016. She has held positions focusing on collection development, reference, and instruction at the University of Wisconsin, University of Maryland, Columbia University, and Bard College. She holds a PhD in media ecology from New York University and master’s degrees in library science and adult education from the University of Wisconsin.

Learn more about Karen in her ACRL Member of the Week profile on ACRL Insider.

Debra Gilchrist

Debra Gilchrist, Ph.D., is Vice President for Learning and Student Success at Pierce College. In addition to academic and student affairs, Gilchrist leads efforts focused on regional accreditation and achievement of institutional outcomes at Pierce College, a community college in Lakewood, Washington. Prior to this position, she served as Dean of Libraries and Institutional Effectiveness. She has published and presented at numerous conferences and campuses on outcomes assessment as a tool for change, demonstrating the contributions of academic libraries through assessment of both learning and program impact and quality. She served as co-designer with Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe on two recent ACRL projects - the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education workshops and the Assessment in Action (AiA) program. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the leadership role of academic librarians to influence instructional change.

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe is Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction in the University Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as an affiliate faculty member in the university’s library school. Lisa was the 2010-2011 President of ACRL. Along with Debra Gilchrist, Lisa was the lead designer for ACRL’s training program for the Standards for Libraries in Higher Education and the IMLS-funded Assessment in Action project. For more information about Lisa, see, or learn more about her in her ACRL Member of the Week profile on ACRL Insider.

Sara Lowe

M. Sara Lowe is Associate Librarian and Associate Dean of Educational Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Prior to that, she was Assessment Librarian at the Claremont Colleges Library. Sara has over 10 years of experience with assessment and instruction in academic libraries and was in the first cohort of the IMLS-funded Assessment in Action project.

Learn more about Sara in her ACRL Member of the Week profile on ACRL Insider.

Eric Resnis

Eric Resnis is Head of Instructional Services at Coastal Carolina University's Kimbel Library. He participated in ACRL’s Assessment in Action program both as a team leader (year 1) and as a co-facilitator (year 3). Eric is Vice President/President-Elect (2017-2018) of the Academic Library Association of Ohio, the Ohio chapter of ACRL. He regularly publishes and presents on the value of assessment in meeting information literacy outcomes, strengthening liaison roles, and demonstrating library impact towards institutional outcomes.

Learn more about Eric in his ACRL Member of the Week profile on ACRL Insider.

Melanie Sellar

Melanie Sellar is Head of Instruction and Assessment at Santa Clara University (SCU) Library and Adjunct Professor, San Jose State University iSchool. Previous to SCU, Melanie was the Senior Instructional Designer at Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education and served for five years as the Education Services Librarian at Marymount California University, where she held the rank of Associate Professor of Information Literacy. Melanie founded the non-profit organization Librarians Without Borders (LWB) in 2005 and has served nearly continuously as its Co-Executive Director since that time.

Brandy Whitlock

Brandy Whitlock is the Instruction Librarian at Anne Arundel Community College, located near Annapolis, Maryland. She's developed a variety of classes and workshops for undergraduates, including library instruction one-shots in every nearly every academic discipline and credit courses in student success, composition, creative writing, critical thinking, and information literacy. She's delivered presentations and workshops on teaching and assessing information literacy at regional, national, and international venues, like Innovations, LIW, LOEX, WILU, ACRL, and IFLA.

Learn more about Brandy in her ACRL Member of the Week profile on ACRL Insider.


Don't take our word for it. See what participants are saying!

"If you are new to assessment, the ACRL RoadShow will inspire, prepare, and jump-start you toward assessment. If you have been practicing assessment, the RoadShow reinforces and expands upon what you know and are doing." ~ 2018 Workshop Participant

"I went into this workshop with little to no knowledge on assessment. After the workshop, I returned to work with a bunch of ideas on how we can implement assessment practices in our library." ~ 2018 Workshop Participant

"I didn't realize how much I didn't know! I also now realize we need a librarian whose entire job is assessment." ~ 2018 Workshop Participant

"We are planning an assessment of information literacy skills project, and this will help us get off to a good, informed, start!" ~ 2018 Workshop Participant

“The organization of the workshop around the assessment cycle made the information easy to follow and showed exactly the steps that need to go into an assessment project.” ~ 2017 Workshop Participant

“I was able to create outcomes for our information literacy class in the workshop. During the class, I emailed them over to be approved by my library director and they were approved and used by my library!” ~ 2017 Workshop Participant

Bring this workshop to your campus!

Ready to host this workshop at your institution? Here's what you need to know about hosting an ACRL RoadShow. To discuss dates, location, and pricing for a specific RoadShow, please contact ACRL Program Officer Chase Ollis at or (312) 280-2521.