Library assessment is the practice of evaluating library services, resources, spaces, and other areas to determine:
- The impact of library services and resources on the university that it supports
- How to improve library performance and better align library services and resources to university needs
Library assessment differs from academic assessment because library impact on student and faculty outcomes often can’t be measured directly. Thus, the Library Assessment unit collaborates with library faculty and staff to design and track meaningful measures of the Libraries' impact on UNLV students and faculty.
Continuous Improvement in the Libraries
- We collect data to analyze trends and changes in the use of resources and services.
- We solicit feedback from library users and non-users alike and conduct major surveys of undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.
- We provide a robust assessment infrastructure that supports evidence-based decision making.
- We use this evidence to demonstrate the value of the Libraries to UNLV, the Las Vegas community, and other stakeholders.
A Culture of Assessment
- UNLV Libraries has a “…highly effective and robust program of assessment data gathering that is used on an ongoing basis to improve resources and services.” -- Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities 2010 accreditation review
- We follow the 2011 Association of College and Research Libraries Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.
- The Libraries' Strategic Plan aligns with UNLV's Top Tier Plan and guides the collection of evidence that demonstrates the Libraries' contribution.
Statistical Highlights & Major Reports
5,210,270 visitors entered Lied Library in FY16 (from ACRL Gate Counts).
5,210,270 checkouts of books, equipment, and other physical items (from Millennium)
840 instruction sessions on library research practices held in FY16 (from ACRL, # of presentations)
1,127,076 Combined physical and digital collections (from ACRL, Total Physical Collections)
- 2015 Ithaka S+R Survey: conducted separate surveys of faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students on topics such as research practices.
- 2016 User Satisfaction Survey: surveyed library users to determine satisfaction with services & resources.
- ACRL/IPEDS: We report operational statistics and expenditures annually to national groups.
- Libraries' Annual Report: The Dean reports major accomplishments and progress each year.
"The assessment librarian serves as a catalyst for change within the library by delivering evidence and analysis to fuel better decision making."ACRL Standards for Proficiencies for Assessment Librarians & Coordinators, 2016
Libraries' Impact on Student Success
The Libraries measure impact on student success through a variety of methods described below. Our involvement in student success includes direct library instruction, but encompasses our work with other faculty on instructional design, as well as participation in campus-wide curricular development.
- In a 2016 survey, faculty indicated that they value the library's contribution in building student's research skills and awareness of resources.
- Library faculty hold Faculty Institutes each year to collaborate with instructional faculty on instructional design and assessing student outcomes.
- UNLV Libraries reached 14,426 students in instruction sessions in 2016.
- Recent research suggests that UNLV library instruction contributes positively to freshman retention (from fall to fall).
- The library offers a variety of co-curricular activities and events that tie into desired learning outcomes (like multicultural awareness).
Library faculty have played an important role in the development and implementation of the UNLV General Education program. The general education curriculum articulates desired learning outcomes for students throughout their academic career at UNLV. The University Undergraduate Learning Outcomes, or UULOs, include information literacy-related objectives that are closely aligned with skills taught in library instruction sessions.
Director, Planning & Assessment
Lied Library 2220
Library Data Analyst
Lied Library 2270