Preconference: I’m Making Assessment Magic and Nobody Gives a @#$%!: Designing Meaningful Assessments and Communicating Evidence of Value for Your Campus Context

Value is relative and not static. Too often in our efforts to prove our worth and stake out a piece of the budget pie we measure everything from gate counts to link-clicks without fully understanding how we will connect these measures to value in terms of stakeholder priorities. Few libraries and librarians take the time to consider how outside stakeholders define value and how those definitions are changing as a result of changes in higher education. Those that do consider these stakeholders find they spend much less time gathering data and explaining value, and more time transforming services and engaging as valued partners in campus decision-making.

This preconference workshop will encourage participants to shake off the politics, consider value in higher education from non-library perspectives, develop authentic and meaningful assessment, share strategies and assessment plans, and leave this preconference with strategic plans for actionable areas of assessment for their libraries.  Activities in this preconference will include a Peer-Share Pre-Activity (How might others describe the value of your library? How might you describe the value of your library?); discussion and activities related to : “What”: Strategic, Purposeful, Iterative, and Transformative Assessment; “How”: Inclusive, Translatable, and Alternative Approaches; “Who”: Assessment Collaborators, Communicators, Advocates; “What Now?”: Shifting the Library from generators/defenders of value to generators/acknowledged providers of value; and will end with a Close-the-Loop Activity.

During this preconference participants will:

-Identify stakeholders in library value discussions;

-Identify hurdles to articulating value;

-Articulate plans to tackle challenges to communicating value; and

-Start planning authentic assessment of at least one library service to demonstrate value to campus stakeholders


Colleen S. Harris-Keith, Information Literacy Coordinator, California State University, Channel Islands

Debra Hoffmann, Head of Public Services and Outreach, California State University, Channel Islands

Janet Pinkley, Reference and Circulation Coordinator, California State University, Channel Islands

Amy Wallace, Dean, John Spoor Broome Library and AVP, Continuous Improvement, California State University, Channel Islands



Preconference: In N Out — Reaching OUT to the community from withIN our student body

As a way to enhance their educational experience and promote global citizenship, students in higher education are often expected to participate in activities beyond the walls of their universities. These activities may include study abroad, internships, service learning projects, and much more. While these activities can take place far from the university setting, they also often occur in the university’s local community, where our students work or volunteer at local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and service agencies. These students bring their real world projects to their course work, where libraries and librarians engage with them to find real world solutions using library resources. What role do academic libraries play in supporting students as they engage in these activities? Can academic libraries play a role in supporting local communities beyond the help they provide for students engaged in community projects? If so, how can academic libraries plan for and respond to local business and community needs? Issues associated with the increasingly blurred lines between school and work and how libraries can navigate these boundaries will be addressed.

This preconference will focus on what academic librarians are already doing for local communities, both directly and indirectly, and how to replicate at their own institutions. Participants will engage with case studies to plan a research strategy, suggest recommended sources and address access issues specific to community projects. Interactive polling will capture participant suggestions to augment a community engagement packet. Participants will leave with innovative community outreach programs that can be replicated on their campuses.

Workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Identify opportunities for librarians to provide direct and indirect support to local communities;
  2. Compare and contrast the different economic resources that support local communities; and
  3. Demonstrate the usefulness of resources such as census data, geographic information systems (GIS), and subscription-based databases to local communities.


Ann Fiegen, Business & Economics Librarian, California State University, San Marcos

Michael A. Germano, Business Librarian, California State University, Los Angeles

Julie Shen, Business & Computer Science Librarian, Cal Poly Pomona

Jordan Nielsen, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and Business Data Librarian, San Diego State University

Diana Wu, Librarian, San Jose State University