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Research and Assessment Cycle Toolkit Shares Library Assessment Expertise

graphic showing a circular cycle of five stages
graphic © iStock/Fireofheart

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Research and Analytics program has launched the Research and Assessment Cycle Toolkit. This resource will help library workers develop or expand their knowledge about and skills in library assessment processes. The toolkit is an outcome of the Research Library Impact Framework initiative, a three-year project in which 18 ARL library teams explored five research questions focused on library services, operations, impact, and alignment with institutional mission and goals.

The Research and Assessment Cycle Toolkit includes 23 training videos and supporting materials that:

  • Review the principles and practices of library assessment
  • Enable library workers to develop the skills necessary to assess library programs, services, resources, and spaces
  • Support the launch of assessment projects from the development of the research question through to the conclusion, including action on findings
  • Are modular, accessible to newcomers to library assessment, and easy to follow
  • Can be self-paced or used as training materials for collaborative efforts
  • Are supportive of a community of learning

Try out the toolkit today and share it with your colleagues!


A team of library assessment experts led by Megan Oakleaf (Syracuse University) and supported by Emily Daly (Duke University) and Becky Croxton (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte) developed the training modules. ARL staff Kevin Borden, Angela Pappalardo, and Anam Mian also contributed to the project.

IMLS logoThe Research and Assessment Cycle Toolkit was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (LG-18-19-0092). The views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of research libraries in Canada and the US whose vision is to create a trusted, equitable, and inclusive research and learning ecosystem and prepare library leaders to advance this work in strategic partnership with member libraries and other organizations worldwide. ARL’s mission is to empower and advocate for research libraries and archives to shape, influence, and implement institutional, national, and international policy. ARL develops the next generation of leaders and enables strategic cooperation among partner institutions to benefit scholarship and society. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.