Traditionally, libraries attempted to prove their effectiveness by reporting the number of resources the library bought or subscribed to, of instructional sessions taught, and of reference questions answered, among other statistics. However, libraries are increasingly expected to document student achievement using outcomes assessment. After struggling with outcomes assessment at our own institution for several years, we have found that the most effective way to handle program-level and classroom-level outcomes assessment is to create manageable, realistic assessment tools. In this paper, we describe two assessment tools that have worked for us: a brief survey given to a large number of students and an in-depth, multi-part tool used with a limited number of library instruction sessions.
“NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Research Strategies. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Research Strategies, [#17, #4, (2001)] DO# 10.1016/S0734-3310(01)00051-9.
Rabine, Julie and Cardwell, Catherine, "Start Making Sense: Practical Approaches to Outcomes Assessment for Libraries" (2001). University Libraries Faculty Publications. 20.