Principle 1: Institutional Effectiveness
1. Libraries define, develop, and measure outcomes that contribute to institutional effectiveness and apply findings for purposes of continuous improvement.
1.1 The Library defines and measures outcomes in the context of institutional mission 1.2 The Library develops outcomes that are aligned with institutional, departmental, and student affairs outcomes 1.3 The Library develops outcomes that are aligned with accreditation guidelines for the institution 1.4 The Library develops and maintains a body of evidence that demonstrates its impact in convincing ways 1.5 The Library articulates how it contributes to student learning, collects evidence, documents successes, shares results and makes improvements 1.6 The Library contributes to student recruitment, retention, time to degree, and academic success 1.7 The Library communicates with the campus community to highlight its value in the educational mission and in instructional effectiveness
In this review period, Andruss Library personnel carefully reviewed and reconstituted the Library’s mission and vision statements, in addition to crafting a new fully developed Strategic Plan. This review involved close consideration of the University’s recently adopted mission, vision, and strategic plan as well as the standards from the national professional organization for academic libraries. The Library is on solid ground in terms of its vision and mission having strong congruence with those of the institution and accrediting bodies. This is an organizational strength and is owed to collaboration of Library personnel, subject faculty, and students. The Library has developed a body of evidence over time, as long as a decade or more, through participation in the national LibQUAL survey and publishing its reflections and improvements on the Library website. The Library also communicates its value to the educational mission and institutional effectiveness through a now active Library Advisory Committee and significant participation by library faculty on University committees for general education, curriculum, accreditation, and advancement. In addition to contributing regularly to the University’s recruitment efforts by being a highlight on the campus visits for prospective students, the Library has begun a new collaboration with colleagues who are developing a college success course. The Library personnel want to develop more ways to support student retention, degree completion, and time to degree, as well as to articulate the Library’s contributions to student learning.
1.1 The Library defines and measures outcomes in the context of institutional mission.
The mission of Bloomsburg University is to prepare “students for personal and professional success in an increasingly complex global environment.” The mission of the Library faculty and staff is to “facilitate and advocate for the exploration and creation of knowledge for personal and professional success.” In the context of the Bloomsburg University Strategic Plan, the Andruss Library recently created a new Strategic Plan (2014). Progress towards the Plan’s goals will be reviewed annually.
The Library’s mission, goals, and strategic plan are now closely aligned with the University’s strategic plan.
1.2 The Library develops outcomes that are aligned with institutional, departmental, and student affairs outcomes.
The Library’s new Strategic Plan is modelled directly after the University’s Strategic Plan, with outcomes that flow from those strategic directions. Each plan contains the same four elements:
1. Enhancing academic excellence
The Library faculty have significantly increased time spent in instruction and developing educational programming. The Library faculty have partnered with the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Center for three semesters to discuss developing partnerships with subject faculty and pedagogy for advancing students’ information literacy.
Students benefit from targeted, in-class learning activities that are based on research and shared experience. The relationships between subject and Library faculty have been strengthened through the increased focus on instructional objectives.
2. Achieving excellence while ensuring financial sustainability
Bloomsburg’s Andruss Library is a member of the Keystone Library Network (KLN), a Library consortium of the State System Universities, State Library, and other partner institutions. This enables the Library to benefit from consortial pricing for many electronic resources.
The Library faculty and staff assist the University in securing new funding sources through various endeavors such as contributing to the 175th anniversary and the cultivation of donors through the Friends of the Bloomsburg University Library Association (FOBULA).
Students and professors have access to a larger number of curriculum-relevant materials than would be available if the University were a stand-alone institution. Students and faculty benefit from the contributions made by alumni and community donors.
3. Designing an enrollment vision in terms of demand, program mix and capacity
Library faculty and the Director of Library Services collaborated with the Department of Academic Enrichment in the fall of 2014 to work with students in Foundations of College Success. This course was designed to align with the University goal of retention and with the explicit intention of motivating students to declare a major earlier.
Library faculty host high school students to introduce them to college-level research. For example, classes in the Allentown School District Summer STEM Program come to campus to research and present results; students in the Model UN program research and debate contemporary political issues.
Data on the progress of students towards retention and declaring a major are still pending. High school students benefit from learning about college-level resources and are provided an introduction to college life at Bloomsburg University. Program organizers are pleased with the exposure to college-level work and continue to take advantage of our instruction. There has been a small but steady increase in the number of enrolled students from the Allentown School District.
4. Fostering and developing a strong sense of community
The Library provides free access to resources, space, and research assistance to community patrons to support their lifelong learning, career development, and personal enrichment.
Bloomsburg University’s Andruss Library has developed a good relationship with the local public library. The Director of Library Services serves on the Board of Directors at Bloomsburg Public Library and served on the search committee for a new director of the public library. In addition, the University Library’s Government Documents Collection Coordinator has identified a selection of resources to be co-hosted at the Bloomsburg Public Library. The Children’s Librarian at the Public Library and the Education Librarian at the University Library have met to discuss the children’s literature collections at both libraries to better meet the needs of future teachers and local parents.
The Library’s University Archivist & Coordinator of Special Collections provided major support for the University’s 175th anniversary celebration. This included giving a public lecture, screening films, and providing photos and facts from the University Archives to support public awareness of University history and its role in the community.
Community members benefit from free access to the Library’s resources, space, and research assistance, e.g. parents obtain curriculum resources to homeschool their children; job seekers have access to computers; and community members have access to legal resources.
The partnership between the University and the Public Library enhances their shared purposes and promotes the positive profile of the University within the community. Community patrons have easier access to government documents materials, including information on becoming a citizen, national parks, and health advice. Future teachers and local parents have access to a much larger selection of children’s literature than either library could provide separately.
The book written by the Library’s University Archivist and Coordinator of Special Collections to commemorate the 175th anniversary was a significant contribution to the history of the institution. The work on the anniversary celebration contributed to fiscal sustainability as it provided a platform for outreach to potential donors among alumni and community members.
1.3 The Library develops outcomes that are aligned with accreditation guidelines for the institution.
Because the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the accrediting body for Bloomsburg University, emphasizes information literacy, the Library faculty have advocated for it at the institutional level and included it in their instruction. In conjunction with the Middle States emphasis on information literacy, the Library faculty have incorporated and measured the ACRL Information Literacy standards in their instruction.
Library faculty and the director collaborate with subject faculty to respond to subject accrediting requirements and PASSHE five-year program and departmental reviews. Library faculty stay abreast of subject accrediting expectations and act accordingly. When programs and departments initially seek accreditation, Library faculty and subject faculty collaborate to ensure that the requirements from the accrediting body are satisfied.
When the University restructured its General Education Curriculum in 2012, it chose to include Information Literacy as one of the ten required student learning goals, in part as a result of the Library faculty’s advocacy.
Students have a greater opportunity to acquire and demonstrate their information literacy because the Library faculty have increased the number of instructional sessions during this review period. As a result of more uniform data collection and reflection upon the local instructional activity and national guidelines, information literacy is more clearly understood and practiced by the Library and subject faculty. As a result of consultation with visiting subject accreditors and reviewers there have been instances of continued and concerted emphasis on student learning; for example, in 2011 the nursing accreditors focused the conversation on student learning of information literacy, not on the collection’s age or breadth, and the librarian’s role in student learning.
Colleges, departments, and programs that have been successfully accredited and/or reaccredited, following consultation with the Library faculty and Director of Library Services, include:
Chemistry & Biochemistry – American Chemical Society (ACS)
College of Business – Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
College of Education –National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
Education of the Deaf – Council on the Education of the Deaf (CED)
Engineering & Physics (Engineering) – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Mathematics, Computer Science & Statistics – Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Nursing – Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
Music – National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)
Social Work – Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Theatre & Dance (Theatre Arts) – National Association for Schools of Theatre (NAST)
A number of academic departments, including English, Economics, and Languages and Cultures have successfully completed their five-year program reviews following consultation with the Library faculty and the Director of Library Services.
1.4 The Library develops and maintains a body of evidence that demonstrates its impact in convincing ways.
Since 2000 the Library has produced annual Outcomes Assessment reports summarizing its activities in support of information literacy, outcomes assessment, and student learning. Since 2004 the Library Outcomes Assessment and Information Literacy Reports have been posted on the Library website, and since 2011 the Library has collected literacy-specific information from its Library Information Literacy Instruction Session Summary Forms. These forms include narrative and numerical data reported by librarians for information literacy sessions. This narrative information identifies learning objectives for the individual sessions, the instructional strategies for the sessions, and comments on if and to what extent the students achieved the objectives.
The Library administers LibQUAL, a nationally recognized survey that measures Library service quality, in three year cycles: 2009, 2012, and, most recently, in the fall of 2015. It develops and maintains this body of evidence by making the results of the survey available on its website at http://guides.library.bloomu.edu/libqual. For the 2012 survey summaries of the top responses, and the Library’s actions, were published in a series of blog posts.
The Information Literacy module of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) was administered for the first time by the University in the spring of 2015.
Since the 1990’s, Library personnel have contributed to the national and international body of data on the health and status of academic libraries, especially through its contributions to the PASSHE survey, Academic Libraries Survey/IPEDS for the National Center for Education Statistics, and to the ACRL Trends and Statistics Survey.
University personnel use the collected body of evidence to demonstrate the Library's impact in convincing ways. Specifically, evidence of the Library’s impact was part of the review that led to the success of the University’s Periodic Review Report for Middle States; the Report made several references to the Library’s services, resources, and other endeavors, including services and resources for off-campus learners, liaisons to academic departments for assistance in course development and scholarly activities, management of physical space for student learning, the utility of the Library’s homepage, cooperation with the Teaching and Learning Enhancement (TALE) Center, the General Library Research Tutorial, and assessment of student learning vis-a-vis information literacy. Consequently, the Library has a positive reputation on campus for its active outcomes assessment.
Due to the findings in the Library’s annual Outcomes Assessment and Information Literacy Reports, Library faculty identified standards such as Standard 4 (“uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose”) that were addressed the least in Information Literacy Instructional sessions. This finding underscores the need for the Library faculty’s existing efforts to collaborate with subject faculty in developing student learning goals and assignments.
Library employees and patrons and the University community can know that its efforts are largely well-received and properly directed, and, where there is less satisfaction, can know where those concerns lie and take steps as possible and necessary. The LibQUAL survey results consistently provide evidence over time that Bloomsburg University students are pleased with the level of service being provided by the Library staff. In 2009 and 2012 students, faculty, and staff expressed confidence in the Library employees and satisfaction with the Library as a study space (See Appendix A Item 15 for summary of comments). Several individuals were mentioned by name as providing outstanding service. Both years the Library received positive results, with the Library meeting or exceeding patron expectations in all categories except for undergraduate student desire for “community space for group learning and group study” in 2009. This result correlates with patron comments in both years about the perceived need for additional group study space. In response to the results, several spaces in the Library were converted to group study rooms. In the last two years additional study space during finals week was made available in student affairs buildings such as the student union on lower campus and the dining and meeting facility on upper campus. In 2012 the major concern was slow computers; in response to this feedback, the slower computers were replaced in the spring of 2013. The full results of the 2015 LibQUAL survey are pending, but an early analysis of respondents’ comments indicates that patrons have an ongoing interest in group study rooms, find the Library building a nice place to be, and think that the Library employees are helpful. The Andruss Library is in the enviable and challenging situation of having both a) far more group study rooms, at 32, than its PASSHE counterparts (Millersville has the second highest number at 14) or even much larger institutions (Towson has one), and b) students who have correspondingly high expectations of securing a group study room on each visit; in the last three years student patrons have been encouraged, through in-library signage and presentations at student government, to ask for assistance in finding a group study room and there have been fewer reported incidents involving student-to-student frustration.
Data from the NSSE survey’s Information Literacy module of Spring 2016 indicate that Bloomsburg University is on a par with other PASSHE schools and national peers. If this module is repeated by PASSHE the resulting data will be compared with the baseline information.
Using data contributed by the Andruss Library to PASSHE, national, and international surveys, colleagues at fellow academic libraries can improve their own institutions and engage in research for the field of librarianship.
1.5 The Library articulates how it contributes to student learning, collects evidence, documents successes, shares results, and makes improvements.
The actions take place within three venues:
Library faculty work with individual students each day to enable them to explore and create knowledge for personal and professional success. Research librarians record data about each research assistance interaction, including duration, subject matter, and READ Scale value. Research Assistance data are summarized each month, and Research Librarians meet at least once per semester to discuss issues related to research assistance and make improvements as needed.
Library faculty provide a growing Information Literacy Instruction program to enable students to effectively and efficiently perform research to meet the learning objectives and goals of their courses. All Library faculty contribute to the success of this program. As they design their instruction, they regularly collaborate with subject faculty to ensure that students are learning sound Library research skills and principles, and are able to demonstrate learning through in-session exercises and assignments.
For the last two years, the Library faculty have regularly measured, observed, and/or solicited student feedback regarding students’ performance in meeting the stated student learning goals. The Library faculty follow up with their subject faculty colleagues as necessary to improve students’ learning experiences. Further, the Library faculty and the Director of Library Services cooperated with the TALE Director to form the Teaching Excellence Academy for Librarians (TEAL). Discussions in the TEAL meetings ranged from practical instructional applications to conceptual dialogs. Library faculty also advise their subject faculty colleagues on assignment and course design in order to target and assess information literacy, critical thinking, and communication skills.
The Library personnel have identified a need for a curriculum map to articulate how the Library contributes to student learning throughout the curriculum and within the disciplines, and they are developing a plan for generating and incorporating the curriculum map into the Library’s educational work.
Students who have received information literacy instruction can engage in research to creatively and effectively meet the research needs of their courses. See especially 2014-15 Outcomes Assessment Report. Library faculty have a better understanding of what the students are learning as a result of articulating student learning goals with subject faculty, collecting evidence of student performance, and reviewing the collected evidence. The Library has a positive reputation among subject faculty for enabling students to successfully complete assignments, and subject faculty regularly refer their students to librarians by name. The Library has a positive reputation on campus for its contributions to and knowledge about information literacy outcomes assessment.
1.6 The Library contributes to student recruitment, retention, time to degree, and academic success.
The Library contributes to students’ overall satisfaction with their experience at BU and, therefore, contributes to retention, recruitment, and time to degree, and the Library directly contributes to students’ academic success. In order to measure students’ overall satisfaction, the University administers the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and, in 2015, included the Information Literacy module.
The attractive and user-centered Library building and the Library’s website are frequently presented to potential students and their parents, giving them a positive impression of the Library’s capability to help students complete their research.
Librarians worked closely with instructors of the Foundations of College Success course, implemented in the Fall of 2014 by the department of Academic Enrichment. This course was explicitly designed to retain undeclared students, reduce time-to-degree, and foster academic success. In this course, students received brief instruction and opportunities for one-on-one assistance with their Library research. Librarians collaborated with the course instructors to develop a Library assignment and supplied feedback on the course’s Library assignment to the facilitator/supervisor for this interdisciplinary course. The course is in transition, and the Library director and librarians are interested in continuing the work as the course develops.
The Library has made other targeted efforts to reach the distinct populations of students that comprise the Bloomsburg University student body in an effort to retain students and enable them to improve their academic performance.
The Middle States Periodic Review Report was successful in part because of contributions from the Library to the students’ overall success. Data from the NSSE Information Literacy module indicates that Bloomsburg is on a par with its PASSHE counterparts and national peers.
Admissions personnel believe it is important for student recruitment to include a visit to the Library for all prospective students coming on a campus tour.
Information regarding the impact of the Library’s work with the Academic Enrichment course is pending. Academic Enrichment is changing its approach to working with the undeclared students, and the Library faculty and director are continuing to stay in touch with the Academic Enrichment faculty and students.
1.7 The Library communicates with the campus community to highlight its value in the educational mission and in institutional effectiveness.
The Library communicates its value in the educational mission and institutional effectiveness through:
The Periodic Review Report for the Middle States accreditation process makes several positive mentions of the Library in advancing the University’s mission. Campus administration demonstrates Library support by providing appropriate resources for the acquisition of print and online resources.
Subject faculty have a high regard for the worth of the Library faculty’s contributions to their students as evidenced by the steady increase in the number of instructional requests.
University faculty and students have a high level of confidence in the Library employees and a high regard for the employees’ readiness to respond to questions as indicated by the LibQUAL responses.
The University President and the University’s Advancement and Marketing personnel appreciate and rely upon the Library’s collections, and especially the University Archivist and Coordinator of Special Collections, for University outreach and fundraising. Students and faculty value the Library’s InterLibrary Loan (ILL) and Document Delivery services; it is used heavily and is well regarded.
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