Libraries are for Use

Demonstrating the value of librarianship

To maximize graduation rates, colleges should focus on middle-range students, research shows @insidehighered


To maximize graduation rates, colleges should focus on middle-range students, research shows @insidehighered.

This reminds me of the JISC Library Impact Data Project, which attempted to link usage of library facilities, services & resources to student outcomes.  There were a lot of difficulties with the data and the correlations could not lead to conclusions of causality, but it did provide a clue that those who used the libraries the least tended to do the worst, and vice-versa.

So, could increasing usage of the library lead a poorly-performing student to improve his or her grades?  Is it as simple as leading the horse to water, or is more required to enable this relationship?

The ideas I have to test this relationship would not be quick or easy and would necessarily involve some risk.

  1. Randomly select sections of a large-enrollment second-year class and provide enhanced library instruction to the middle performers.
  2. Hold focus groups with randomly selected middle performers (making participation worth their while) to understand their relationship with the library.
  3. Collaborate with instructors of randomly-selected courses to develop information literacy instruction that reach the middle-tier students.

Key in this approach is randomness and scale.  Conducting small-scale experiments may not provide the answers needed.

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2014 by in Academic Libraries, Assessment, LIS Profession.

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