Building Capacity for Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries: A Report on Recent ACRL Summits

Joyce L. Ogburn
ACRL President
Dean of the J. Willard Marriott Library
Association of College and Research Libraries
University of Utah

Mary Ellen K. Davis
ACRL Executive Director
Association of College and Research Libraries

Kara J. Malenfant
ACRL Scholarly Communications and Government Relations Specialist
Association of College and Research Libraries

Librarians are increasingly called upon to document and articulate the value of academic and research libraries and their contribution to institutional mission and goals. The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) responds to these demands and positions academic librarians as contributors to campus efforts in several ways. This session will include discussion about recent developments with ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Initiative, a multiyear project designed to aid academic librarians in demonstrating library value.  As one of its recommendations, the ACRL publication “The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report,” released in fall 2010, called on the association to create a professional development program to build the profession’s capacity to document, demonstrate, and communicate library value in advancing the mission and goals of their colleges and universities.

In late fall 2011, ACRL joined with three partners (the Association for Institutional Research, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and the Council of Independent Colleges) to convene two national summits. In the first, a wide range of participants from the higher education sector discussed the data campus administrators would like libraries to provide and what collaborative assistance is available through institutional research offices. In the second, librarian participants addressed strategies to prepare the library community to document and communicate the library’s value.

These summits are the basis of the project “Building Capacity for Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries,” made possible by a National Leadership Collaborative Planning Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  This project briefing will report on the advice given by those attending the summits: college and university chief academic officers, senior institutional researchers, representatives from accreditation commissions and higher education organizations, and academic librarians from a broad spectrum of institutions.

Handout (PDF)


Last updated:  Tuesday, December 20th, 2011