Assessing My Summer

So the summer is over, the students are back, and I’ve survived the arrival of a new group of freshman advisees on campus.  It is time to start up the Little Reflections blog for the year and for me to assess how the summer went professionally.   In looking back, I realize that this was a summer of assessment, or more correctly library assessment dominated my summer.  Three specific events or projects come to mind.  First, I had the great opportunity to present along with some colleagues from the MISO survey at the The 11th Northumbria International Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and Information Services in Edinburgh Scotland.  The conference was a great time, but a topic I will probably address in a future post.  The second aspect of assessment was my participation in creating documentation for the library’s portion of Davidson’s SACS re-accreditation.  Since there is at least some chance a child could find this blog I think I had best skip that topic and the language I would most likely use to describe it.    The aspect of assessment that has me most excited at the moment is the E. H. Little library’s acceptance into the Association of College and Research Libraries Assessment in Action program.  This program asks academic libraries to choose an assessment project and then through a cohort building model across institutions supports the the libraries involved in refining and carrying out that assessment project.

Working with Assistant Director of Information Literacy Sara Swanson and Associate Vice President for Planning and Institutional Research Linda LeFauve we have designed a project that examines our effectiveness in supporting co-curricular and extra-curricular learning.   In carrying out the project we will identify students with co-curricular interests, leadership, entrepreneurship, service are examples, and use their responses from the national Measuring Information Services Outcomes (MISO) survey collected by Davidson for the last two academic years (2013-2014, 2014-2015) to identify impact, satisfaction, and importance patterns with different aspects of the library and its services.  Targeted confidential focus groups will be used to determine why individual groups identify as under-served by various library services, if the do feel that way, and to identify potential improvements.  We will then create targeted internal surveys using the focus group findings to identify preferred enhancements. Once enhancements have been implemented, the assessment cycle will be repeated iteratively for continuous improvement.

We will be shifting into high gear on this project this fall.  If you have questions or suggestions, please let us know.  We would love your feedback.