The field-testing process for the new surveys for ACRL’s Project Outcome for Academic Libraries, developed in partnership with the Public Library Association (PLA), wrapped up at the end of October. These surveys are outcome-based, following the model developed by the PLA’s Performance Measurement Task Force. The goal is to provide users with free, easy-to-use, standard surveys in a toolkit that all types of academic libraries can adopt to assess and improve their services, and to benchmark themselves against their peers.
Here are a few key takeaways from the field-testing process:
- 108 individuals volunteered to be field testers. In the end, 54 institutions submitted a total of 11,449 survey responses, greatly exceeding our expectations. Explore the overall results in this interactive data visualization. A special mention goes to the 3 most active institutions that each submitted more than 700 responses: Boston College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, and Gwinnett Technical College – well done!
- Of the 7 surveys field tested, the Undergraduate Instruction survey was by far the most popular, with 40 institutions participating in data collection and submitting 9,148 responses. Library Spaces was the second most popular, with 1303 responses from 15 institutions.
- The volunteers and responses come from all different institution types. Community colleges contributed 27% of the total responses, baccalaureate-granting institutions contributed 27%, master’s-granting institutions contributed 21%, doctorate-granting institutions contributed 24%, and special focus institutions contributed the remaining 1% of the total responses. Explore the quantitative results for each of the surveys, including a breakdown by Carnegie classification, in this interactive data visualization.
To learn more, read a preprint of a paper (PDF) delivered at the Library Assessment Conference by Eric Ackermann (ACRL Project Outcome for Academic Libraries task force chair; Radford University), Sara Goek (ACRL staff) and Emily Plagman (PLA staff) and view the slides from the presentation (PDF).
The task force met on December 10 to decide on the final survey topics and text, taking into account the results and feedback from the field-testing process. The seven surveys in the final toolkit will be: Instruction, Events / Programs, Research, Teaching Support, Digital & Special Collections, Space, and Library Technology. The toolkit will allow you to: add up to three custom questions per survey; get real-time results; use the data dashboards to explore your results; create custom reports that you can use for advocacy; and explore resources and a community to learn more about effectively measuring outcomes.
The Project Outcome for Academic Libraries toolkit will officially launch at the ACRL 2019 conference.