Transformative Ideas for Academic Libraries


The Academic Library Impact on Student Persistence by Mark Emmons and Frances C. Wilkinson.
What impact does the academic library have on student persistence? This study explores the relationship between traditional library input and output measures of staff, collections, use, and services with fall-to-fall retention and six-year graduation rates at Association of Research Libraries member libraries. When controlling for race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status, a linear regression finds that a change in the ratio of library professional staff to students predicts a statistically significant positive relationship with both retention and graduation rates.

The Role of Synchronous Virtual Reference in Teaching and Learning: A Grounded Theory Analysis of Instant Messaging Transcripts by Sarah Passonneau and Dan Coffey
This paper describes ongoing challenges that occur during synchronous virtual reference interviews and staff training needs that cannot be captured by number crunching alone. Synchronous virtual reference can provide essential teaching and learning experiences that complement the educational mission of most research universities.

Special Services in Special Times: Responding to Changed Information Needs During and After Community-Based Disasters
In disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, pandemics, or terrorist attacks, which can affect a whole community and not just a single institution, librarians may be called upon to provide new and modified information services to users whose information needs have suddenly changed, at the same time that access to information resources has dramatically diminished.

Students research the library: Using student-led ethnographic research to examine the changing role of campus libraries by Gina Hunter and Dane Ward
The authors contend that not only is it possible, but it is necessary that libraries develop enhanced capacities to sense the changing information landscape and possess the capacity to change with it. The future of academic libraries may depend on it.

Sustaining scholarly publishing: University presses and emerging business models by Ellen W. Faran
How are university presses evolving today, and how are they thinking about the future? The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) recently appointed a taskforce to investigate these questions. The taskforce’s report “Sustaining Scholarly Publishing: New Business Models for University Presses” was just released this March, and includes a roundup of new business model activities already underway in the university press community. The extent of this activity was eye-opening even for those of us involved in parts of it; we hope that our partners in scholarly communication will also find it informative and stimulating.



2012 LITA National Forum: Rivers of Data, Currents of Change
Now in its 15th year, the LITA National Forum has become a highly regarded annual event for those involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field.

ACRL 2013: Imagine, Innovate, Inspire
Indianapolis, April 10-13, 2013
Imagine a future where we explore innovative methods for driving the transformation of libraries, learning, and research, and inspire librarians to become catalysts in exceptional research and learning. That future is now and we invite you to become part of this future by submitting a proposal for ACRL 2013.

Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program
ACRL's Immersion Program provides instruction librarians with the opportunity to work intensively on all aspects of information literacy. Whether your institution is just beginning to think about implementing an information literacy component or whether you have a program well under way, the Immersion Program will provide your instruction librarian with the intellectual tools and practical techniques to help your institution build or enhance its instruction program.

General Resources

Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline
Individuals involved with information literacy programming are encouraged to use the characteristics in a variety of ways. These characteristics present a set of ideas that can be used when establishing, developing, advancing, revitalizing, or assessing an information literacy program. The characteristics also provide a framework within which to categorize the details of a given program and to analyze how different program elements contribute to attaining excellence in information literacy programming. Because the characteristics are descriptive in nature and the result of a meta-analysis of many programs, they may also be useful for benchmarking program status, improvement, and long-term development.

Checking out the future: Perspectives from the library community on information technology and 21st-century libraries (PDF, 784k, 24 pages)
Explores how many library professionals are recognizing the need to evolve during the digital revolution and are driving adaptations designed to ensure that libraries remain an integral part of our society’s commitment to education, equity, and access to information.

Standards for Libraries in Higher Education Draft Revision – (PDF, 258k, 22pages)
The Standards for Libraries in Higher Education (Standards) are designed to guide academic libraries in advancing and sustaining their role as partners in educating students, achieving their institutions’ missions, and positioning libraries as leaders in assessment and continuous improvement on their campuses. Libraries must demonstrate their value and document their contributions to overall institutional effectiveness and be prepared to address changes in higher education. These Standards were developed through study and consideration of new and emerging issues and trends in libraries, higher education, and accrediting practices.

There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations (PDF, 848k, 18 pages)
takes a look at how the adoption of mobile technology alters the traditional relationships between libraries and their users. The policy brief, authored by OITP consultant Timothy Vollmer, explores the challenges to reader privacy, issues of access to information in the digital age (including content ownership and licensing), digital rights management, and accessibility. Despite these challenges, Vollmer said libraries are embracing the growing capabilities of mobile technology and providing new, innovative services that extend the way libraries serve their existing patrons.

Value of Academic and Research Libraries
Change across all facets of society—including demographic, technological, and economic change—has the potential to greatly impact higher education and the academic library. As we move further into the 21st century, it is important to pay attention to the trends around us to inform our thinking about where institutions of higher education and their libraries are headed.

Value of Academic Libraries Initiative
Change across all facets of society—including demographic, technological, and economic change—has the potential to greatly impact higher education and the academic library. As we move further into the 21st century, it is important to pay attention to the trends around us to inform our thinking about where institutions of higher education and their libraries are headed. This site features resources from the Association of College and Research Libraries related to the value of academic and research libraries.

z687: Creating the Future of Tech Services
Welcome to z687: Creating the Future of Tech Services, the online collection of white papers and think-pieces by ALCTS members for their peers in library technical services.

Online Education

ACRL e-Learning program


This is a new on-line service providing access to ACRL and NCES academic library statistics (2000 to present).

Think Accessible Before You Buy: Questions to Ask to Ensure that the Electronic Resources Your Library Plans to Purchase are Accessible
Often, library staff may have to make purchasing decisions regarding electronic databases and resources, software for public use, or a new web site design or layout. Libraries share a great responsibility and may be legally required to ensure that anyone-especially patrons and staff with disabilities- can effectively use these electronic services. Unfortunately, these technical standards can be a real challenge to translate and understand for those of us without a technical background, or who are not former computer programmers or web page coders. Therefore, in an effort to break down the technical language barrier, the following checklists and guidelines are intended to help libraries “think accessible” as they consider purchasing electronic resources and web services.

Scholarly Communication Toolkit
The Scholarly Communication Toolkit was designed by the Scholarly Communication Committee of The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) to support advocacy efforts designed to transform the scholarly communication landscape.