Document Type

Poster Session

Presentation Date

Spring 5-16-2013

Conference Name

Michican Library Association Academic Libraries Conference

Conference Location

Traverse City, MI


In an era when academic libraries increasingly need to justify their budgets and impact to campus administrators, there is a growing necessity for helpful assessment tools. Engaging in this current trend of “demonstrating value,” this liberal arts college sought to explore areas of impact through a focused study on one particular department with known high library activity. For the past two years the library and the history department have partnered with an outside project called Understanding Library Impacts. Beginning with a beta-test of a quantitative and qualitative survey tool in upper-level courses and later expanding to history courses at all levels, the project sought to measure library activity for research projects in these courses and connect this activity to student learning outcomes. The data informed us about student usage of “traditional” and electronic library resources, as well as discovery tools, facilities and services. Through it, students highlighted their “most valued” resources and described the benefits and problems they encountered there. Open-ended questions explored student-identified learning objectives and methods for overcoming research challenges. The survey also explored various means of mapping this activity onto broader learning outcomes at the departmental and institutional level. This poster will share what the library learned from this collaborative process and highlight one way that libraries can link their assessment data with departmental and institutional learning goals.