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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Statistics & Assessment Contact:
Martha Kyrillidou

Service Quality Evaluation Academy

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Today's academic libraries face competition from alternative, cost-effective information providers. In light of this reality, it is imperative for libraries to seek means to ensure that their services meet and preferably exceed user expectations. A continuing program of assessment is essential to the development of a meaningful approach to meeting service goals. In addition, libraries are being held accountable by their parent institutions and accrediting bodies alike for their contribution to student learning, a contribution for which the traditional quantitative measurement of library collections is no longer appropriate, nor applicable, as a means of assessment.

The Service Quality Evaluation Academy addresses this community-wide need for new strategies and methods of library assessment by pursuing the following goals:

  • Enhance the pool of librarians with advanced assessment skills by teaching quantitative and qualitative methods for assessing and improving outcomes and service quality
  • Build capacity for assessment through the introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods used in libraries
  • Introducing participants to SPSS and ATLAS.ti

The academy is an intensive five-day program that focuses on introductory qualitative and quantitative methods for collecting and analyzing library service quality data. Although some of the training will be presented in the context of ARL assessment programs and activities (LibQUAL+®, ARL Profiles, etc.), the program will emphasize basic concepts and skills in measurement and data analysis that will be applicable to service quality evaluations in general. There will be some time spent on relevant software skills, including the use of ATLAS.ti to analyze text based evidence like responses to open-ended surveys and the use of SPSS for quantitative data analysis.

Academy Instructors

Colleen Cook

Colleen Cook, Trenholme Dean of Libraries at McGill University. Colleen oversaw the administration of the SERVQUAL protocol to the university library community in 1995, 1997, and 1999, which led to her role in developing LibQUAL+®. She has published journal articles and book chapters and made numerous presentations in the fields of library science, history, and research methodology. She specializes in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Colleen is the past chair of the ARL Statistics & Assessment Committee, served as ARL Board Liaison to the committee, past chair of the IFLA Statistics and Evaluation Section Committee and member of the Editorial Boards of the Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Libraries (QQML) conference as well as the Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement and Metrics in Libraries. She is currently active in committees within CARL and CREPUQ.

Bruce Thompson

Bruce Thompson, Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and CEHD Distinguished Research Fellow, and Distinguished Professor of Library Science, Texas A&M University, and Adjunct Professor of Allied Health Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine (Houston), and Executive Director, Southwest Educational Research Association. Bruce is a prolific author in statistics and measurement, having published roughly 200 articles, and has conducted numerous training sessions at national professional meetings. Two of his most recent books are Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Foundations of Behavioral Statistics. He has edited four journals, and is currently a Co-editor of the American Educational Research Journal: Teaching, Learning, and Human Development (AERJ:TLHD). He is a Past-President of the Association for Assessment in Counseling and of the Southwest Educational Research Association, and has served an elected member of the Council of the American Educational Research Association.

Nick Woolf 2

Nick Woolf, Woolf Consulting. Nick has a PhD in instructional design from the University of Iowa, where he taught a doctoral class in qualitative data analysis and ran the Qualitative Researchers’ Practice Forum. He has been teaching in various fields since 1973, and using ATLAS.ti for qualitative research since 1994. Nick divides his time between his own qualitative research as a Visiting Fellow at Henley Management College, and as an independent educator, trainer, and consultant in qualitative research methods. He conducts on-site ATLAS.ti workshops at universities and research institutions throughout North America, and monthly small-group workshops in Santa Barbara, California. He also provides e-mail, Web conferencing, and telephone coaching and consulting to individuals and research teams in diverse fields.

Who Should Attend

The academy is designed for librarians across library types and organizational structures, with a strong commitment to service quality assessment efforts. It is most appropriate for those who have direct responsibility for their library assessment efforts and show high potential for developing new and innovative assessment tools.


March 11-15, 2013
New Orleans, LA
Site TBA

Nominations and Application

Library directors are invited to nominate candidates for the academy class. Directors can nominate an organizational team, but must rank order individual team members when doing so. To maximize training impact and ensure the geographic diversity of the participants, first-ranked nominees will be admitted before second-ranked nominees. Library directors and deans can be nominated by their provost or president.

Each nomination should include the following materials from the nominees to complete their application package:

  • Nomination letter from library director
  • A half-page description of possible assessment project including research questions of primary interest, or a brief statement (250 words) of interest emphasizing assessment activities
  • Curriculum vitae

Selection of Candidates

Members of the Selection Committee, composed of ARL and CARL library directors, will review candidate nominations and the selection of participants will be based on the following selection criteria:

  • Assessment experience as illustrated by applicant's statement of interest, or viability of proposed assessment project
  • Demonstrated commitment to service quality assessment efforts
  • Support of the participant's institution as demonstrated by the nomination letter from the library director


The participation fee for this five-day event is $1,500 per participant. This covers the cost of tuition, all program and instructional materials, and daily refreshments (lunch and dinner are on your own). Participants must bring their own laptop computer to the academy, with the ATLAS.ti and SPSS software programs already installed.

Application Deadline

December 14, 2012

Contact Information

Send all nomination packets and inquiries to:

David Green
Library Relations Coordinator
Association of Research Libraries
Statistics and Assessment Program
21 Dupont Circle NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20036-1543

Participant Cancellations

All payments are final. No refunds will be issued.