ACRL selects value of academic libraries researcher

Contact: Mary Ellen K. Davis
(312) 280-3248

Kara Malenfant
(312) 280-2510

For Immediate Release
January 5, 2010

CHICAGO – The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces the selection of Megan Oakleaf, assistant professor in the iSchool at Syracuse University, as lead researcher for its value of academic libraries project. A recognized expert in outcomes-based assessment and decision making, Oakleaf will develop and deliver a comprehensive review of the quantitative and qualitative literature, methodologies and best practices currently in place for demonstrating the value of academic libraries.

 “ACRL is very pleased to work with Megan Oakleaf on this project,” said ACRL President Lori A. Goetsch of Kansas State University. “Her experience and expertise in assessment make her the ideal person to review and document existing research and practices to assist the academic library community in articulating our value to the campus community.”

The current economic climate and the increased emphasis on assessment and outcomes have compelled academic departments’ higher education administrators to make tough decisions regarding the funding of programs and units at their institutions. The primary objective of the comprehensive review is to provide academic librarians with a clearer understanding of what research about the performance of academic libraries already exists, where gaps in this research occur, and to identify the most promising best practices and measures correlated to performance. Additionally, this review will provide ACRL members with tools and strategies to demonstrate the value of academic libraries to their institutional leadership.

Send questions about the ACRL value of academic libraries project to Mary Ellen K. Davis, ACRL executive director, at or (312) 280-3248, or to Kara Malenfant, ACRL scholarly communications/government relations specialist, at or (312) 280-2510.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments.