VALE Library Assessment Fair: Call For Poster/Projects To Showcase

VALE Assessment Fair:  Learn About Library Assessment Efforts and Share Your Successes!

MAY 25, 2010

Rutgers Busch Campus Center, Piscataway

9:30 am to 12:30 pm

  • Are you preparing for a Middle States visit and worrying about library assessment?
  • Are you looking for a good assessment tool but don’t know where to start?  Or have you found a promising technique for uncovering your users’ real needs?
  • Are you interested in learning about assessment projects used at other VALE libraries? Or have you conducted a project you’d like to showcase and share?
  • Have you developed your own assessment method or tool?  Or found a commercial product that had value?
  • Do you just want to know “what’s out there”?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, please read on!

The VALE Assessment Committee, in partnership with the VALE Shared Information Committee, will be hosting a half-day Assessment Fair designed to inform VALE librarians about a variety of assessment techniques and products as well as to showcase individual library’s assessment successes.  The Fair will feature overviews of all kinds of assessment tools and projects such as:

  • Information literacy student learning outcomes
  • Collection analyses
  • User studies
  • Web usability studies
  • Vendor performance evaluations
  • User satisfaction studies
  • ILL and document delivery assessments
  • ROI investigations

Join us either as a Presenter or a Learner!

Presenters: Any VALE library, VALE committee or individual librarian is invited to showcase and share an assessment technique, presented either as a poster-type display or at an individual table.  Basic information about your project and the techniques used should be displayed and handouts made available (a template of information required will be provided). Complete the attached brief submission form and send to Jeanne Boyle.* Assessment Committee members will review all proposals and select those most applicable to the VALE audience.

Learners:   Mark your calendars now for this important event!  More information to come!

The VALE Assessment Fair

May 25, 2010

9:30 to 12:30

Busch Campus Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

Lots of free parking

* Jeanne Boyle
University Libraries Administration
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Assessessment Fair Submission Form

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Assessment Fair, May 25, 2010!

What: Assessment Fair

Date: May 25, 2010

Time: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Place: Busch Campus Center, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey

The VALE Assessment Committee and the VALE Shared Information Committee invite you to participate in a half-day Assessment Fair designed to inform VALE librarians about a variety of assessment techniques and products as well as to showcase individual library’s assessment successes. Plan to attend and learn, and consider sharing your work by hosting a table or poster session.

Details about how to participate and what we plan to cover will follow shortly.

Jeanne E. Boyle
Associate University Librarian for Planning and Organizational Research
Rutgers University Libraries

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Assessing Information Literacy Outcomes, Part 1 (Internal Experiences)

I attended Assessing Information Literacy Outcomes, Part 1 – Learning from Some Internal Experiences on Friday at the VALE Conference, hosted by Jacqui DaCosta of the VALE Shared Information Literacy Committee.

To recap, there were brief presentations from four institutions:
1) Camden County College
-Collaboration between the library and the biology department has existed since 2003 in the form of information literacy goals written into the curriculum for Biology 111. The curriculum outlines objectives that apply to a specific assignment related to scientific literature, and includes student outcomes.

2) New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)
-Working with humanities/general education, librarians created a rubric to score research papers on factors such as citing sources, evidence of research, appropriateness, and integration. This program required readers to perform the assessment, but HUM101 has subsequently made information literacy 10% of the grade.

3) Rutgers-Camden
-Created a ‘home-grown’ rubric in the writing program. This involved a research notebook, and focused on the bibliography in the 12 steps of writing a paper. The goal was to translate into numbers students’ written work.

4) William Paterson University
-In a “Literacy, Technology & Instruction” class, students were assigned to interview a school librarian. Students used some prepared questions and then had to present results. This taught them not only about librarians but got them thinking about information more generally.

Having attended the second session as well (Assessing Information Literacy Outcomes, Part 2 – Learning from Some External Experiences), I find it interesting to see the different approaches to information literacy assessment. Home-grown assessment programs often seem to be extremely relevant to student information literacy, but they cannot provide a consistent ‘score’ to be used across institutions. Also, the library’s value to the institution in terms of successful information literacy instruction may not be brought to the forefront — It can be  difficult to demonstrate the library’s quantitative benefits when it’s ultimately the faculty who are responsible for making information literacy part of their student assessment.

In some ways it seems more straightforward to have students take a test when they start a program, provide information literacy instruction for them, then have them take another test when they complete the program, and subsequently be able to show in hard numeric terms an improvement (presumably!). But such an abstract test of information literacy is difficult to create, and there is also a question of how to motivate students to take a test seriously if they receive no grade or credit for doing so.

From my perspective, assessments integrated into curricula are sufficient to at least meet ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards, and collaborative tools such as the VALE Online Information Literacy Archive (VOILA) will be very useful for librarians to share ideas and best practices.

(Disclosure: I’m a Reference and Instruction Librarian at Camden County College, & so my thinking may be influenced by working there. Also I’m rather a new librarian, & so there may be some holes in my understanding of information literacy.)

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Continous Assessment Equals Continous Improvement

Link to this presentation:

Continous Assessment Equals Continous Improvement

Post comments regarding this morning breakout session presented by Mark Thompson (Bergen Community College).

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Going Beyond the Numbers


Post comments regarding this morning breakout session presented by Carolyn Gutierrez, David Lechner, and Jianrong Wang (Richard Stockton College of NJ).

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