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ARL Assessment Program Visioning Task Force Releases Recommendations

image CC-BY-NC by Paul Goddin

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Assessment Program Visioning Task Force is responsible for developing a forward-looking program that advances the organizational outcomes of the 21st-century research library.

There is a strong sense from ARL members that the program should continue to focus on supporting library assessment in member libraries. However, the needs of ARL member libraries and staff have evolved since the program’s inception, and while the program meets some pressing needs of ARL members, there are distinct gaps between the audiences that the ARL assessment program currently serves and those that ARL members most need the program to serve.

As a first step, the Visioning Task Force was charged to consider all current and potential ARL assessment-related services, including the goals, outcomes, deliverables, staff, and other resources related to the existing metrics and tools, and to the surveys in the StatsQUAL suite. The Association asked the task force to write recommendations—presented in a report released today—for investment, maintenance, and disinvestment of programs, services, and tools as well as for new service areas and foci. In devising the recommendations, the task force considered the types of issues ARL libraries will need to address in their measurement and evaluation program in the context of contemporary movements in higher education.

ARL secured Athenaeum21 Consulting to work with the Visioning Task Force to realize its charge by developing the recommendations for consideration and discussion by the ARL membership. The task force’s report presents the recommendations along with an overview of the discussions, research, and review processes undertaken. The report also sets out a fairly detailed structure for a renewed assessment program that the task force believes will better meet the assessment needs of ARL members.

The recommendations were presented to the ARL membership in October 2017 and now the ARL Assessment Committee is embarking on the next phase of implementation that is expected to continue through 2018. This second phase of work will include developing more specific recommendations and business models, along with plans for measuring the success of the revised program on an ongoing basis.

Read the report, ARL Assessment Program Visioning Task Force Recommendations.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.

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