Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Assessment Librarian/Adjunct Faculty in Anthropology
Throughout their everyday interactions with university systems, individuals create, intentionally or unintentionally, numerous streams of digital data. Universities and libraries are increasingly moving to aggregate and utilize these data streams as they seek to provide the best services and resources possible for their users. These analytics offer the promise of improving educational and service quality by revealing patterns, trends, and behaviors that are not readily apparent through observation or self-perception. However, new analytics also challenge long-held principles with regard to privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, and other values. This issue-oriented briefing examines the role of libraries as producers and consumers of educational analytics, and proposes a framework of principles and best practices for the stewardship of these data throughout their lifecycle. After a short presentation of the proposed framework, the remainder of the session will be given to structured discussion to elicit feedback and critique and to discuss how institutions might fruitfully engage with local policy and practice development. Session participants will have the opportunity to contribute to an ongoing dialogue about user privacy, service quality, and ethical data collection, stewardship, and decision-making while considering the complexity of values expressed in the American Library Association Code of Ethics and other professional ethical frameworks. Through these discussions, this session aims to provide participants with tools to initiate discussions in their own organizations in order to develop policies and procedures related to data gathering and analysis that is informed by professional values as well as institutional priorities and requirements.