A Week in the Life of the Value Report

ACRL released “Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Review and Report” just one week ago today. I thought it might be fun to share some highlights of the first week in the life of this report. Please continue to let us know how you are using the report – it would be great to have an even longer list when we look back on the first month!

In addition to the blog posts and press coverage of the report, you’ve told us that:

– A provost at a research university initiated a discussion with the library director on what the report means for their institution.
– A director of library assessment used the report to prepare for a conference presentation.
– An LIS professor assigned the executive summary and podcast to her students on the day it was released for discussion in class that night.
– A public services librarian incorporated the report into a presentation to a state board of education about the value of libraries.
– A coordinator for information literacy shared the report with her advisory committee as part of their strategic discussions on assessment of student learning.
– The chair of a standards committee began working with her committee to incorporate the framework in the standards document.
– A humanities librarian will use the report to bolster a proposal to create an assessment coordinator position in the library.

You also had some very complimentary things to say about the report. I think these compliments go to Dr. Megan Oakleaf, the ACRL Board of Directors, and everyone who contributed to making this report happen:

– “This report is one of the most helpful documents I have seen in a long time. Thanks for this!”
– “Outstanding report. I am finding it very useful. There are a lot of things in the report that really needed to be said. Great to have them all in one place.”
– “It’s a powerful statement.”
– “This is going to be so useful … Congratulations to all involved!”
– “Really nice work . . . and practical too! Gives us in the field a great foundation to build on.”

Most of the comments have been from librarians or library/information science faculty but we have also heard from some leaders in higher education. One wrote an email that said: “It is a grand contribution to the library world. If libraries will follow through and begin examining and reporting the contributions they make to retention, student learning, graduation, external grant proposal success, etc., they will serve their universities better and have brighter financial futures.”

Trending as the favorite quote in the report based on the number of times I’ve seen it is: “The demonstration of value is not about looking valuable; it’s about being valuable.” Academic libraries are indeed valuable. We can tell our story and build the evidence we need to underscore our claims and adjust our practices to improve our impact. This report is just the beginning of the Value of Academic Libraries initiative from ACRL!

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe
ACRL President, 2010-2011