{{ site.title }}

Request for Proposals for Assessment Program Visioning Task Force Consultant—Proposals Due December 31, 2016

image CC-BY-NC by Paul Goddin

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) seeks a qualified consultant to assist the Assessment Program Visioning Task Force in developing a forward-looking program that advances the organizational outcomes of the 21st-century research library.


The Project

A consultant/facilitator will be secured to support the work and deliberations of the Assessment Program Visioning Task Force. The task force is 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.

A critical component of the recommendations will be consideration of 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.

The consultant’s response to this request for proposals (RFP) must include the following for review and approval by the task force:

  1. Timetable for completion of data collection, data review, and recommendation development within the established timeline.
  2. A description of the data collection methods that will be employed to ensure that all member representatives and ARL library staff have an opportunity to provide feedback.
  3. Articulating the mechanism(s) to review the individual program components and the design of the overall program.
  4. Draft reports for dissemination to Assessment Committee, Board, and membership.

The task force will comprise 10–15 members, including ARL directors (including several members of the Assessment Committee), ARL library staff, ARL staff assessment team member, and other outside experts. ARL staff assessment team members will be called upon to serve as resources for background information and data about the services and programs.

Timetable and Deliverables

  1. Discuss recommendations with the Assessment Committee.
  2. Present a report to the Board of Directors. Follow up with written report.
  3. Present preliminary written and oral report at the May 2017 Association Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a final written report no later than October 2017 (and preferably sooner).

Selection Criteria

The following dimensions will form the basis of selection of the consultant (not necessarily in order of importance):

  • Quality and appropriateness of the methodology and approach for creating a vision and strategy for a multi-dimensional program. Preference will be given to applicants with a clear and comprehensive design methodology that provides the flexibility needed for an iterative process.
  • Quality of proposal and oral (virtual) presentation. Preference will be given to applicants whose presentations demonstrate the ability to work effectively with a task force comprised of ARL member representatives, ARL library staff, and other stakeholders from higher education.
  • Experience and knowledge of educational assessment, including data collection with strong credentials in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. Preference will be given to applicants who have the breadth and depth of expertise in assessment, program evaluation, visioning, and planning based upon examples of prior related work as provided by the consultant.
  • Past experience working with organizations of similar size and industry. Preference will be given to applicants who have a record of successful engagement with nonprofit member organizations or organizations in higher education.
  • Strength of references. Particular attention will be paid to references by organizations for which similar work was conducted.

Selection Process

This RFP is being distributed to recommendations received from the library community and will be posted on the ARL.org website. The deadline for submission of a written proposal is December 31, 2016. The Assessment Program Visioning Task Force will begin reviewing proposals immediately upon receipt, with the goal of selecting a successful consultant by January 31, 2017.

Background about the Association of Research Libraries

ARL is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries at comprehensive, research institutions in the US and Canada that share similar research missions, aspirations, and achievements. The Association’s importance and distinction are born from its membership and the nature of the institutions represented. ARL member libraries make up a large portion of the academic and research library marketplace, spending more than $1.4 billion every year on library materials.

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.

Contact Person

Parties can express interest in submitting a written proposal or questions about this RFP to: Sue Baughman, Deputy Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries, 21 Dupont Circle NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC 20036, 202-296-2296, sue@arl.org.