In 2013, the Grinnell College Libraries were selected to participate in the new program "Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success," to examine the impact of the library on student success and help academic libraries contribute to assessment activities on their campuses. The program is sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries/American Library Association and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grinnell is one of 75 institutional teams selected from a pool of 98 applicants.

As part of its application process, each participating institution identified a team consisting of a librarian and at least two additional team members. The librarian team leaders will participate in a 14-month professional development program that includes team-based activities carried out on their campuses. Librarians who participate in the AiA program, supported by a blended learning environment and a peer-to-peer network, will lead their campus teams in the development and implementation of an action learning project.

Grinnell's team includes Phil Jones, Humanities Librarian/Coordinator of Research Services; Carlie VanWilligen, Associate Director of Analytic Support and Institutional Research; and Henry Rietz, Associate Professor of Religious Studies. The Grinnell team will work with a selected group of Grinnell's academic departments to explore the impact of information literacy instruction within student majors on students' academic success. It will investigate how measures we might create (information literacy quizzes and surveys) and ones that already exist (such as ILL and circulation statistics, or a dataset of student writing samples) correlate with available student data such as GPA and retention rates. This two-pronged approach will allow us to learn about the effectiveness of library instruction and services and to connect library metrics with topics of campus-wide interest such as improving student learning and persistence.

ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, representing more than 12,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals.


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