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Five Year Program Review 2010-2015

Using the ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education as a framework, the Harvey A. Andruss Library performed a Five Year Academic Program Review for the Years 2010 to 2015.

Environmental Analysis

Environmental Analysis

  • Add results of certification exams, employer and alumni surveys as applicable.
  • List any notable changing student characteristics or demographics.
  • Describe any changes in technology or how technology is used that had or will have an impact on the program.
  • What are the top trends in the field or related fields, and how do they relate to existing curriculum and experiences? 
  • What areas of collaboration, either internal or external to PASSHE have been explored?  What was the outcome?

Summarized below are four trend areas that do or may significantly affect the work of the Andruss Library:

  • Framework for Information Literacy:  formal document and direction, adopted by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Board in January 2016 after three years of development.  It clearly positions librarians as collaborative partners in the academic mission.
  • ACRL Environmental Scan 2015:  most recent biannual review of trends within academic librarianship as analyzed by the field’s national organization.  This year the focus was on hybrid collections, research data services, search interface capability, use of facilities, sustainable scholarly communication, and library impact on student success initiatives.
  • NMC Horizon Report:  2015 Library Edition:  most recent annual review of trends surrounding technology in higher education as prepared by an organization founded by technology companies to influence higher education.  This year the focus was on the long term trends of accessibility of research and hands-on learning, the challenges of improving digital literacy among library personnel and campus populations and of encouraging the adoption of radical change, and the opportunities posed by ‘makerspaces’ for media creation and online learning.
  • Collaborative work with PASSHE counterparts within the formal library consortium of the Keystone Library Network (KLN) and the regular sharing of information and expertise with colleagues across the State System of Higher Education Libraries Council (SSHELCO).  The KLN provides the backbone for collaborative collecting of electronic materials and sharing of all PASSHE library holdings.  The SSHELCO group provides an informal network as well as an annual meeting/conference at which to exchange ideas and improve practices.

 

Framework

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education:  significant development for library faculty as educators

 “This Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (Framework) grows out of a belief that information literacy as an educational reform movement will realize its potential only through a richer, more complex set of core ideas. During the fifteen years since the publication of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education1, academic librarians and their partners in higher education associations have developed learning outcomes, tools, and resources that some institutions have deployed to infuse information literacy concepts and skills into their curricula. However, the rapidly changing higher education environment, along with the dynamic and often uncertain information ecosystem in which all of us work and live, require new attention to be focused on foundational ideas about that ecosystem. Students have a greater role and responsibility in creating new knowledge, in understanding the contours and the changing dynamics of the world of information, and in using information, data, and scholarship ethically. Teaching faculty have a greater responsibility in designing curricula and assignments that foster enhanced engagement with the core ideas about information and scholarship within their disciplines. Librarians have a greater responsibility in identifying core ideas within their own knowledge domain that can extend learning for students, in creating a new cohesive curriculum for information literacy, and in collaborating more extensively with faculty.” (Excerpted from the Framework’s Introduction and emphasis added)

  1. Association of College & Research Libraries, Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (Chicago, 2000).

As described in the summary document, About the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, this is a different direction from that of the Information Literacy Competency Standards in that the Framework is:

“…built around six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy and anchored in threshold concepts, which are those ideas in any discipline that are essential portals to ways of thinking and practicing in that discipline.  Rather than a linear set of skills and search techniques, each frame prompts questions about what learners will need to know, experience, and do to demonstrate their increased understanding as they progress from novice to expert in the scholarly journey and as information literate individuals.” (ACRL, 2015)

Those frames, presented alphabetically, are:

  • Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Information Has Value
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Searching as Strategic Exploration

The impact of this document may be considerable; it calls for an explicit conceptual connection to the thinking and practice of the disciplines and for collaboration with their faculty colleagues for a much greater cohesiveness in the information literacy curriculum.

Further information on the Framework may be found at

ACRL Environmental Scan 2015

ACRL Environmental Scan 2015

The Andruss Library’s past experience and future plans are largely in keeping with the Scan’s findings regarding Library Collections and Acquisition.  Library personnel expect to manage a hybrid collection for some time, have engaged in multiple ebook and demand-driven acquisition models (e.g. EBSCO, Ebrary, and individual publishers of ebooks) with the intent of matching collections to curricula and patrons’ usage patterns), and prompted the implementation of software to make online course-adopted readings more accessible to students in their course management software.  If campus need were demonstrated, a new area could be working with faculty and others on measuring the scholarly impact of new modes of communication such as social media and institutional repositories.

Research Data Services is an area that larger research institutions have developed more fully in response to the expectation that federally funded research be made available to the public.  Given some local research activities, this is an area that may benefit from further exploration.

The trend towards search capabilities that cover all or many of a library’s resources, both material and human, is called Discovery Services.  The Andruss Library has had a discovery layer in place since 2013; it allows researchers access to many of the Library’s holdings—including print and ebooks, electronically available articles and films, and research guides—in one search.  Like many other academic libraries, the Andruss Library has a behind-the-scenes resource management infrastructure that it shares with its partners in the Keystone Library Network, a consortium including all of the PASSHE libraries.  The Library does not provide sophisticated data-mining tools.

As at many other libraries, the personnel of Andruss Library have sought to achieve a balance in providing space needed by other campus entities (technology staff, instructional technologists, teaching excellence center, writing center, and others) and ensuring collection and study space.  The footprint of the physical collections was noticeably reduced in the last review period to provide study space.  Sophisticated technologies such as 3-D printers and multimedia production are provided elsewhere on campus for specialized audiences; the Library provides a self-service multimedia area for general scanning, image manipulation, and color printing needs.

Library personnel have an interest in supporting sustainable communication and have made some modest efforts, through a webpage, a workshop, and on an individual basis, to raise awareness about fair use rights.  The Library does not act as publisher or have a formal online institutional repository, but the latter is in development with its consortial partners.

Library personnel have taken definite steps towards an impact on student success initiatives and being able to articulate and document the impact of the Library on student learning and success.  Library faculty are working with subject faculty on learning goals and are sometimes explicitly involved in how the students’ work will be assessed.  Through participation over the last two years in a community of practice, the Library faculty shared ideas and gave each other support for experimenting with learning activities and collaboration with subject faculty on assignment development and timing.  They began noting student learning goals and designing ways to measure the students’ accomplishments, focusing on active learning and identifying high impact areas such as writing-focused programs.  The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education is emphasized in the Scan as an opportunity for collaboration with faculty, and, as stated above in the discussion of the Framework, this direction may be significant in its future impact.  In the online learning environment Library personnel participate as opportunities present themselves and are ready to provide fuller access to resources and research assistance when a greater opportunity develops.  Library personnel have stayed abreast of options in competency-based instruction as applied to information literacy.  Library personnel have contributed to student and faculty recruitment, retention, and teaching and learning success through work with regional high school students, new faculty and student orientations, students in the Academic Enrichment courses, undeclared students, and contributions to the teaching excellence center’s offerings.

Technology Trends

Technology Trends

The two trends that the NMC Horizon Report: Library Edition highlights, accessibility of research and hands-on learning, are ones that the Andruss Library has been a part of for many years.  During the review period: many electronic journals were added to the collection; a discovery search interface was introduced to facilitate access across book and article collections in one search; and students were often instructed in a classroom where each student has access to their own computer for hands-on learning.  The  challenges of improving digital literacy among library personnel and campus populations and of encouraging the adoption of radical change are challenges here too;  however the University makes available Lynda.com, a large collection of tutorials and videos with a focus on technological learning, and there are instructional and media technologists on campus to respond to faculty and students questions.  The opportunity posed by ‘makerspaces’ for media creation are in beginning stages here with a modest self-service space for general scanning, image manipulation, and color printing;  the University provides sophisticated equipment and support for specialized users in distributed sites on campus.  Library personnel respond to the opportunity presented by online learning by contributing resource links when individual chances present themselves and are ready to provide fuller access to resources and research assistance when a greater opportunity develops. 

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