Articles and Blog Posts

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 best programming ideas for building a culture of literacy through Día
An annual celebration of children, families and reading since 1996, Children’s Day/Book Day, known as Día, emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

The Evolving Library: Supporting New Teaching, Learning Styles
The successful 21st-century library creates an inviting space for students.

Fanbase to the Rescue: A Massachusetts Tale
How social media mustered a groundswell that saved cooperative library services.

Library Design Showcase 2011
American Libraries’ annual review of the best in new and renovated library facilities.

Making Connections: Lessons from Five Shared Library Networks (PDF 5.4Mb, 71 pages)
The core mission of libraries is to connect people with ideas and information. Increasingly vital to fulfilling that mission is providing users with no-fee public access to the Internet. This publication profiles five library networks that have, through varying approaches, achieved success in upgrading their broadband connectivity to provide this essential service.

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.

Technology access benchmarks for public libraries
An ongoing project by a national coalition that includes the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP)

Transforming Public Library Technology
This issue of Library Technology Reports, conceived and coordinated by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Research and Statistics, focuses on the evolution and current state of public-access technologies in public libraries from the infrastructure, services, and resources perspectives. This issue brings together longitudinal data, key issues, trends, and best practices that will provide library staff with tools for planning, advocacy, and service enhancements.