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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Statistics & Assessment Contact:
Martha Kyrillidou

Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment

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Steve Hiller and Jim Self
Jim Self and Steve Hiller

Visiting Program Officers Steve Hiller (University of Washington Libraries) and Jim Self (University of Virginia Library) worked with Martha Kyrillidou (ARL) to assist libraries in developing effective, sustainable, and practical assessment programs that demonstrate the libraries' contributions to teaching, learning, and research. Steve and Jim bring extensive experience and knowledge from their own libraries, which are well-known for their assessment programs, as well as from assessment evaluation visits to nearly 40 libraries from 2005 to 2010. ARL brings a strong commitment and support for library assessment programs and services. The "Effective, Sustainable, and Practical Library Assessment" service is now superseded by the Organizational Performance Assessment for Libraries (OPAL) service launching in 2011.

This ARL service, “Effective, Sustainable, and Practical Library Assessment,” grew out of a two-year project called "Making Library Assessment Work," which involved 24 libraries during 2005–06. The project findings demonstrated the importance of library leadership, a user-centered library staff, and a supportive organizational culture to the success of sustainable assessment programs.

The service involves a site visit to each participating library, a report to each library with recommendations on practical and sustainable assessment, and follow-up assistance in implementing the recommendations.

Libraries that will benefit include those interested in:

  • Starting an assessment program
  • Prioritizing assessment activities
  • Using assessment and usage data to improve services and resources
  • Establishing benchmarks, performance standards, and cost analysis
  • Participating in LibQUAL+® and/or acting on past LibQUAL+® data
  • Preparing for institutional regional accreditation within the next few years
  • Moving assessment from project-based to ongoing and sustainable
  • Developing an organizational “culture of assessment”
  • Evaluating current assessment efforts and needs
  • Developing an assessment plan

Cost and Contact Information

The Effective, Sustainable, and Practical Library Assessment service is now open to non-ARL libraries as well as ARL member libraries.

The cost for participation is $4,000 plus travel expenses for the two project leaders.

Libraries interested in participating should contact Martha Kyrillidou