ACRL Seeks New “Assessment in Action” Facilitator

Assessment in Action LogoACRL is seeking applications for a new designer/facilitator of the program the “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA). Applicants wishing to join the design/facilitation team will have engaged with the AiA program during the first or second year in some capacity (e.g. team leader, team member, library dean/director, researcher, etc.). Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.

In September 2012, ACRL was awarded a National Leadership Demonstration Grant of $249,330 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for this three- year project, undertaken in partnership with the Association for Institutional Research and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The grant supports the design, implementation and evaluation of a program to strengthen the competencies of librarians in campus leadership and data-informed advocacy. Year 1 of the grant included 75 institutions, in Year 2 there were 73 institutions selected, and Year 3 – which begins in April 2015 – will serve up to 125 institutions.

The current five member design/facilitation team (see biographies) seeks to add one additional member to participate in Year 3 of the AiA program as well as assist in planning future programs. The design/facilitation team works virtually and in person in designing and facilitating the 14-month long experience for each of the cohorts.

Scope of work
Serving as a member of the curriculum design/facilitation team is a continuous year-round commitment of approximately 2-5 hours/week with more concentrated time before webinars and in-person sessions. The work involves regular planning calls and in person design meetings, developing materials (i.e., exercises, handouts, and presentations), being active in the online community, aiding in the development of regular webcasts, and participating during the in person events for the AiA librarian team leaders.

Under the terms of the grant, ACRL reimburses curriculum designer/facilitators for a portion of their travel costs to extend the time we anticipate they would already be spending at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, ALA Annual Conference, and ACRL 2015 Conference. Additional travel funding may be available for non-librarian designer/facilitators. ACRL will provide an honorarium that takes into account the full range of duties: curriculum design, virtual participation, and year-long facilitation responsibilities. The specific terms and responsibilities of both parties will be articulated in an annually renewable contract with ACRL.

Expectations
While Year 3 of AiA is built on the first two years and the foundation is in place, we are looking to adjust the curriculum based on the new facilitator’s experience as a participant and to plan future programs.

Most of the work involved in facilitating the efforts of participants in the AiA learning community will take place virtually (online asynchronous classroom, webcasts). However, members of the curriculum design/facilitation team must be available to attend in person events for librarian team leaders, which are held in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conferences. A full-day meeting will be scheduled as follows:

  • Thursday June 25, 2015, 1-5 p.m. and Friday, June 26, 2015, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: San Francisco, CA. Cohort 3, first meeting.
  • Thursday January 7, 2016, 1-5 p.m. and Friday, January 8, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Boston, MA. Cohort 3, second meeting.
  • June 23-28, 2016: Orlando, FL. Cohort 3, poster sessions.

In addition to the above meetings for selected AiA librarian team leaders, the full design/facilitation team meets separately as follows:

  • A full-day planning retreat March 25, 2015, in conjunction with the ACRL National Conference in Portland, Oregon.
  • Preparation/debrief meetings are scheduled at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference before and after the events for AiA librarian team leaders. Additional planning meetings may also be scheduled.
  • Final program/wrap-up in conjunction with ALA 2016 Annual Conference.

Qualifications 
The successful curriculum designer/facilitator must be conversant with issues and challenges of libraries in higher education. They must possess:

  • Willingness to participate throughout the length of the AiA program (in addition to assisting in rollout of follow up programs), virtually and in person, in designing and facilitating the 14-month long experience for each librarian cohort and institutional team members.
  • Experience serving as a convener and facilitator of educational activities.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and deliver events, activities, and modules that are experiential, support action learning, and foster reflection among learners.
  • An ability to foster connections and create learning environments where teams can exchange ideas and share experiences and information.
  • Rich knowledge of the dynamic nature of higher education assessment, including a keen awareness of the forces outside the sector driving for greater accountability.
  • A nuanced understanding of how individual units on campus can collaborate to best demonstrate and communicate their contributions to the overall goals and missions of their institutions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to work with diverse group members, and commitment to developing strong, collegial relationships with curriculum design team members and the participants in the AiA learning community.
  • Working knowledge of the issues and challenges of libraries in higher education.

Candidates should highlight additional qualifications in areas such as:

  • Experience designing and delivering curriculum for an audience that includes librarians as well as other campus stakeholders.
  • Experience facilitating learning over time and in multiple formats (i.e., beyond the one-off workshop).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of multiple assessment methods, both quantitative and qualitative, data collection strategies, and analytical techniques. A deep appreciation of the integral relationship between assessment questions, data acquisition, and analytical methodologies.
  • Experience analyzing existing administrative data which emanates from different campus units (i.e., libraries and office of institutional research).
  • Experience designing protocols and gathering new data through questionnaires, semi structured interviews, and focus groups.
  • Adept at communicating and presenting assessment project results.

The success of the applicant’s own AiA project is not a determining factor in the selection. Many projects did not fully reach their goals. The team seeks a new designer/facilitator who learned from their project, analyzed results for cultural, strategic, and assessment challenges, and is helping their library move forward with assessment.

Apply
To apply, please prepare the following materials. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document that includes:

  1. A letter addressing the following questions (two pages maximum).
    1. Why you want to become a member of the team for ACRL’s Assessment in Action program?
    2. What was the role you played in the AiA project on your campus?
    3. What contributions could you make to this program that align with the qualifications?
    4. Are there relevant experiences of which you would like us to be aware?
  2. Your resume.
  3. The names and contact information for two references who have direct knowledge of your qualifications for this role, including one with direct knowledge of your skills as a facilitator/teacher.

The single PDF application must submitted via email by 5 p.m. Central on Tuesday, January 13, 2015, to ACRL Program Coordinator Chase Ollis at collis@ala.org.

ACRL has formed a small review team, which includes member leaders and staff, to consider applications. The process includes checking references and a telephone interview. The group will make selections and notify all applicants of their status by Friday, February 20, 2015.

If you have questions about this position, the Assessment in Action program, or ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative, please contact Kara Malenfant, ACRL Senior Strategist for Special Initiatives, at kmalenfant@ala.org or (312) 280-2510.