LAMC projects aim to strengthen culture of assessment

by Steve Borrelli, Library Assessment

For this Focus on Assessment, I want to highlight the work of the Library Assessment and Metrics Council (LAMC). In 2016, the council expanded to 20 members, with four membership slots reserved for colleagues outside of University Park. Presently, the LAMC includes staff and faculty from seven campuses. Together, we’re working on four projects aimed at developing data and assessment skills and perspectives, and at developing an infrastructure to support the assessment needs of the University Libraries.

  • On Friday, April 21, we’ll be hosting researchers from the University of Minnesota, Jan Fransen and Krista Soria. They’re part of a research team that has been successful in connecting library data (checkouts, reference, database use, etc.) to student retention. They’ve also shown how first-year first-time students’ GPA is impacted by library use (check outs, using databases, reference, etc.). They’ll be visiting University Park to discuss their work and to discuss considerations for conducting our own similar analyses. They’ll also be delivering a talk about developing a research agenda. The presentations are open to all and will be available on Mediasite Live. The full schedule for the day is available here.
  • The Assessment Archive will be a place where faculty and staff can submit completed assessment projects, both large- and small-scale, so that others can find and make use of these assessment results. We see this as also having the secondary benefit of providing a central location for those looking for ideas for their assessments. Each project will have a searchable project page describing the project, the submitted materials and results. We anticipate launching this project by the end of July. More information about the Assessment Archive will come soon.
  • Library Data Days is envisioned to be a full-day event providing professional development around the central theme of “using data.” The project is currently in an exploratory stage to gauge interest and develop a loose budget. An interest survey was recently sent out and is available here for anyone interested who may have missed it. The event is tentatively scheduled for Monday, July 10, in University Park.
  • The Library Data Inventory project is aimed at learning what data is collected broadly around the libraries to support decision making. The first phase of the project is looking at the data collected through Desk Tracker. The idea here is to get an understanding of what data is collected consistently across the libraries, then to talk with those using the data in their decision making in order to make recommendations or suggest best practices for recording. The LAMC group working on this has met with representatives from the Desk Tracker Team, and will be touching base as we move forward on the project.

If you have questions about any of these projects, talk with anyone on the LAMC, or contact me directly at