ACRL awarded IMLS grant to build profession’s capacity to demonstrate value

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/27/2011


CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has been awarded a National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grant Level II by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the project Building Capacity for Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries. The grant funding of $99,985 will support ACRL, in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges, in convening two national summits that will address the library profession’s need to develop the skills to document and communicate library value in alignment with the missions and goals of their colleges and universities.

The invitation-only summits, to be held in late 2011, will bring together college and university academic administrators, institutional researchers, representatives from accreditation commissions and higher education organizations and academic librarians for plenary presentations and facilitated breakout sessions that focus on assessment issues that span the academy and explore ways for libraries to advance the core mission of their institutions.  The outcomes of these summits will be the basis for a white paper that summarizes findings of the summits and sets a framework for future action, recommending a plan to strengthen librarians’ competencies.

“This broad-based representation from the higher education community will present opportunities to build partnerships between librarians and higher education stakeholders and to foster better understanding about relevant issues,” said ACRL President Joyce L. Ogburn, dean of the J. Willard Marriott Library and university librarian at the University of Utah.

This grant-funded project is designed to accomplish key objectives of ACRL’s broader Value of Academic Libraries initiative. The association has long been concerned with accountability, assessment and student learning. This project broadens discussions about library value by involving librarians from all types of postsecondary institutions and engaging key higher education constituent groups in the discussion. Such inclusive participation will ensure that the project outcomes reflect the opportunities and challenges unique to each type of campus and that recommendations are meaningful and useful to the profession.

“We are eager to benefit from the recommendations of our colleagues from across the higher education sector as ACRL looks to build the profession’s capacity to document, demonstrate and communicate library value in alignment with institutional mission,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis.

Contact Kara Malenfant, ACRL scholarly communications and government relations specialist, at or (312) 280-2510 with questions about the grant or the Value of Academic Libraries initiative.


ACRL is a division of the American Library Association (ALA), representing more than 12,500 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. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit