Institutional Effectiveness: 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 institutional effectiveness.
"The Standards include performance indicators, which are intentionally library-centric. Outcomes, however, should be user-centric, preferably focusing on a specific population and articulating specifically what the user is able to do as an outcome of the performance indicator. "
- ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
Performance Indicator 1.6 The library contributes to student recruitment, retention, time to degree, and academic success.
Performance Indicator 1.7 The library communicates with the campus community to highlight its value in the educational mission and in institutional effectiveness.
"Many academic institutions use benchmarks to identify their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to similar institutions. For example, benchmarking can be used to demonstrate whether an institution or its library is funded or staffed at levels comparable to similar institutions in a geographic area, with a similar enrollment, or with other related characteristics."
- ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
Principle 1: Institutional Effectiveness
All ACRL Standards information taken from:
Association of College and Research Libraries. (2018). Standards for libraries in higher education.
11.1 The institution provides adequate and appropriate library and learning/information resources, services, and support for its mission. (Library and learning/information resources) [CR]
Rationale and Notes
To provide adequate support for the institution’s curriculum and mission, an institution’s students, faculty, and staff have access to appropriate collections, services, and other library-related resources that support all educational, research, and public service programs wherever they are offered and at the appropriate degree level. The levels and types of educational programs offered determine the nature and extent of library and learning resources needed to support the full range of the institution’s academic programs. Qualified, effective staff are essential to carrying out the goals of a library/learning resource center and the mission of the institution, and to contributing to the quality and integrity of academic programs.
The purpose of this Core Requirement is to ensure that an institution offers adequate and appropriate library collections, services, and other related learning resources to support the mission of the institution. If the institution has research and/or public service missions in addition to its educational mission, the standard applies to those aspects of library and learning/information resources as well.
The levels and types of degrees offered by an institution determine the nature and extent of library-related resources needed to support the full range of its academic programs. In order to adequately support the institution’s curriculum and mission, an institution may arrange for its students and faculty to have convenient access to the library/learning resources of another institution or to library-related resources that are shared by a consortium of institutions. In any case, it is expected that the institution provide adequate and appropriate library collections, learning resources,and related services at all locations, including off-campus instructional sites and branch campuses, as well as programs and courses offered through distance and correspondence education.
Institutions should include information on learning/information resources housed in the library, other locations, or offered over a network, as appropriate (e.g., curriculum labs, specified reading rooms, computer labs, IT help services, writing centers, online learning management systems). If this information is instead presented in Core Requirement 12.1(Student support services), that should be clear in the narrative of both standards. Physical facilities and the condition of such facilities (as opposed to contents within the building) do not need to be addressed in this standard, but should be addressed in Standard 13.7 (Physical resources).
Details on how library collections, resources, and services are assessed and results used to make improvements should be found in Standard 8.2.c (Student outcomes: academic and student 11.1 110 services). Some of that information also may appear in this standard if it helps to establish the adequacy and appropriateness of current collections, services, and other related learning resources.
Access to library collections and services is specifically included in Standard 11.3 (Library and learning/information access). Thus in Core Requirement 11.1, the emphasis should be on an enumeration of collections, resources, and the types of services offered. Ease of access should be part of Standard 11.3, not the current standard. There will be some duplication of discussion between these two standards.
Questions to Consider
• How does the library determine whether collections are adequate and appropriate for the courses and programs offered, as well as for the research and/or public service activities of the institution (if relevant)?
• Is there a formal collection development policy? Does it work well?
• How are students at off-campus sites and taking distance education or correspondence courses provided adequate and appropriate collections?
• What library and learning/information services are offered (e.g., interlibrary loan, delivery services, bibliographic support, technical support, general help desk, off-site support)?
• How does the institution determine the adequacy and appropriateness of its services?
• What supporting services are offered through the library/learning resource offices as opposed to other academic support offices?
• If collections and services are offered through external contracts or consortia, how is adequacy and appropriateness determined?
• Description of library collections in terms of the programs and levels of programs offered.
• Description of library services in relation to the needs of faculty, students, and others (as needed).
• Description of related library and learning/information resources.
• Collection development policies and evidence of implementation.
• Evidence that the institution’s library-related resources support all its educational, research, and public service programs wherever located or however delivered.
• Samples of guides, flyers supporting library services, and other direct evidence of library and related resources and services offered.
• Internal and external surveys and reports establishing the adequacy and appropriateness of collections, services, and related resources (e.g., satisfaction surveys, consultant reports).
• Peer comparisons. Resource Manual for The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement 111
• Usage statistics (with information on size of the user population).
• If the institution provides access to library resources through an arrangement with another institution or provider, copies of contracts and agreements outlining access and services.
• If the institution provides access to library resources through an arrangement with another institution or provider, description and analysis of the adequacy and appropriateness of the collections, services, and other related resources provided under that contract or agreement.
• Mission statement of the library, learning resource center, or other similar support services.
Reference to SACSCOC Documents, If Applicable
SACSCOC policy: Distance and Correspondence Education
Cross-References to Other Related Standards/Requirements, If Applicable
Standard 8.2.c (Student outcomes: academic and student services)
Standard 11.3 (Library and learning/information access)
Standard 13.7 (Physical resources)
All SACSCOC information taken from:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (2018). Resource manual for the principles of accreditation: Foundations for quality enhancement. [3rd ed.].
Retrieved from https://sacscoc.org/pdf/2018%20POA%20Resource%20Manual.pdf