Practicums and Panels

Practicums and panels will be held on Friday, December 7 from 8:45 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Pre-registration (at no cost) for practicums is required and space will be limited to 50 people per practicum. To register for a practicum, please visit the conference registration hub. Panels do not require pre-registration.


Assessing Library Skills for the Future: A Toolkit for Success

Practicum Leaders: Kelly Barrick (Director, Science, Engineering, and Social Science Libraries Division at Columbia University); David Woodbury (Department Head of Learning Spaces & Services at North Carolina State University); Jennifer Ferguson (Team Lead for Arts and Humanities at Tisch Library, Tufts University); Elliot Felix (Founder, brightspot strategy); and Kelly Sanford (Senior Strategist, brightspot strategy).

What are the essential competencies that future library professionals will need to support learning, teaching, and research as true faculty partners rather than academic support staff? How can they self-assess and guide their education and professional development to become proficient? Our team of 10 library professionals from 7 institutions as well as members of the consultancy brightspot strategy have come together to identify these essential competencies and develop a toolkit of resources and activities that should help any individual in preparing for their future.

We recognize that assessment of librarians’ skill sets requires collective input. In this practicum you will contribute to describing 21st-Century competencies for academic library professionals to support learning, teaching, and research; work in small groups to test and provide feedback on an emerging self-assessment toolkit for academic library professionals; and build relationships with like-minded change agents who are leading academic transformation in their institutions.

  • Apply methodology for assessing, tracking, and building competencies for 21st-Century library professionals.
  • Plot the future direction of your library in relation to broader trends in library transformation.
  • Assess and identify core competencies and learning and development opportunities for your community.

Identifying Alternative Measures of Impact: Telling the Story

Practicum Leaders: Holly Mercer (Senior Associate Dean, University Libraries, University of Tennessee) and Lynn Silipigni Connaway, PhD (Director of Library Trends and User Research, OCLC Research)

Description: Are you are interested in responding to research questions posed in the ACRL Academic Library Impact: Improving Practice and Essential Areas to Research? This practicum can help!

You want to demonstrate that academic libraries are useful to students and contribute to institutional strategic mission and goals. With no pre-defined methods for measuring the library’s value for student learning and success, how do you demonstrate value to its many stakeholders? Where do you start? In this practicum, you will select one of the six priority areas identified in the report: 1) communicate the library’s contributions; 2) match library assessment to institution’s mission; 3) include library data in institutional data collection; 4) quantify the library’s impact on student success; 5) enhance teaching and learning; 6) collaborate with educational stakeholders. Working in groups of 8-10 attendees, with guidance from practicum leaders and fellow participants, you will explore research questions for your selected priority area. By the conclusion of the practicum, you will have articulated your assessment questions addressing student learning and success, identified appropriate data collection and analysis tools, and outlined a dissemination plan to execute and share the results of a project that identifies your library’s contributions to student learning and success.

Critical Information Literacy Instruction: Using Outcomes to Teach and Assess Big Ideas that Matter

Practicum Leaders: Megan Oakleaf (Associate Professor, Director of Instructional Quality, Syracuse University iSchool) and Josh Hughey (Syracuse University)

Description: Librarians who engage students in critical information literacy instruction teach big ideas, often in short periods of time.  To do so effectively, librarians can leverage instructional design models and assessments to ensure that they fulfill their intentions of immersing students in rich and challenging concepts.  Outcome-focused backwards design paired with intentional teaching strategies and assessments allow librarians to make the most of their teaching time with students.

Backwards instructional design facilitates teaching approaches predicated on conceptualizing big transferable ideas prior to establishing outcomes and selecting teaching methods. Designing instruction backwards helps teaching librarians focus students on the big ideas, engage with intended learning outcomes, and transfer that learning to future educational and real world environments.  However, becoming comfortable with backwards design and articulating clear, meaningful, and assessable critical information literacy outcomes is a challenge.  This practicum will include a very brief introduction to backwards design, a thorough exploration of critical information literacy learning outcome exemplars, and a range of hands-on exercises leading participants through the process of designing instruction that engages and empowers students to understand and enact the big ideas central to critical information literacy.


Human Subject-Based Library Research and Professional Ethics: A Panel Discussion

Moderator: Brian W. Keith (Associate Dean, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)

Panelists: Stanley Wilder (Dean, Louisiana State University Libraries); Laura I. Spears (Assessment Librarian, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida); Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (Professor/Coordinator for Information Literacy Services and Instruction, University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Robert Farrell (Associate Professor, Library/Coordinator of Information Literacy & Assessment, Lehman College, City University of New York)

Description: Library assessment is a critical, over-arching function that has rapidly grown and evolved in recent decades. Many assessment activities rely on human-based inquiries or the analysis of data collected on patrons, with or without their knowledge. Despite the increasing demand for research in libraries, academic librarians may lack the research training and support to effectively meet these requirements. This includes managing the demands of human subjects research and the requisite oversight that accompanies it. In many scholarly fields the ethical considerations of human-based inquiry have been long debated and the ethical standards for researchers have been developed, articulated, taught, and enforced. The fundamental questions for the subject expert dialogue in this session will be: What are the ethical implications for library assessment activities involving human subjects? What are the reasonable expectations of patrons regarding their inclusion in research and assessment activities? How are these considerations being addressed currently? and What are the ethical standards that might guide library assessment?

ARL Library Impact Framework

Panelists: Sue Baughman (Deputy Executive Director, ARL), Megan Hurst (Co-Founder, CXO + Principal Consultant, Athenaeum21), and Christine Madsen (Co-Founder + Chief Innovation Officer, Athenaeum21)

Description: The Research Library Impact Framework describes the research library’s agenda for services, operations, impact, and alignment with institutional mission and goals across four areas: Research & Scholarly Life Cycle; Teaching, Learning & Student Success; Collections; and Physical Space. The framework provides the scaffolding for deeper exploration across multiple library service areas and serves as the foundation for the research agenda. The framework is intended to help library leaders think about the operational, cultural, and contextual commonalities and differences between libraries, and the research that is needed to identify, deliver, and communicate their impact to their decision-makers. As the framework evolves, and is elaborated through Research Projects and Practice Briefs, specific research questions and issues that confront libraries in their local contexts will be addressed. The framework provides a clear connection between the elements of successful research libraries and the qualitative and quantitative data that are collected to evaluate them. Potential project outputs include research reports, research templates, and practice briefs.

This panel will discuss how members of the assessment community can use the framework to address questions important in their local context and within the broader library community.