Library assessment is a tool which assists an institution in defining its goals using evaluative and quantitative methods for analysis of their services, resources, facilities, staff, and technology. These analyses not only help define goals but also identify areas for improvement.
Because library assessment is a dynamic process which incorporates the gathering of information about how a library works and what can be done to continue a certain level of service, it is a necessary tool for an institution to remain relevant in the academic environment.
Purpose of the Assessment Committee
The objective of the David L. Rice Library Assessment Committee is to guide and report on the use of assessment as a means of supporting the library’s mission. To achieve this objective the committee will seek to fulfill the following charges:
Encourage and promote a culture of assessment.
Gather planned assessment activities and integrate into a single document.
Serve as a resource for those conducting assessment activities.
Record the results of assessment activities.
- Contribute to university-wide assessment efforts.
History of Library Assessment Committee
Under the leadership of Library Director Ruth Miller, the staff of the David L. Rice Library began to work on the library’s first strategic plan during the fall 2009 semester. The plan was implemented in mid-2011 and covered the period from 2011 to 2016. Assessment, evaluation, and measurement were major themes running throughout the entire document. However, Goal #4 --Encourage and support a culture of evaluation and assessment-- was specifically related to these important activities. One of the activities detailed to fulfill this goal was to “Create a standing library committee devoted to assessment and charged with the development of an on-going assessment plan for Rice Library.”
During the April 2012 Librarians’ Council meeting, Interim Director Martha Niemeier created the committee. Those volunteering to serve were Debbie Clark, Martha Niemeier, Philip Orr, Rose Scruggs, Nicole Tekulve, and Peter Whiting. Orr was asked to serve as chair. Later that month, the committee began meeting one to two times a month throughout the following summer and into the fall. In October when Marna Hostetler became the library’s new director, she joined the committee. By the beginning of spring 2013 semester, the library’s first assessment plan was finalized and the report was published. Since then the committee members have changed and the emphasis vary's from year to year.
Assessment Committee Charge
Committee Status: Standing Library Committee
Objective: The objective of the David L. Rice Library Assessment Committee is to plan, guide, and report on the use of assessment as a means of supporting the library's mission.
The library’s mission includes this statement: Ongoing review and evaluation of Library resources and services are carried out in collaboration with the university community to determine the nature of information resources and services needed.
Committee Sponsor: Library Director
Committee Chair: May vary; Appointed from Committee membership by Library Director for two-year term.
The committee will be composed of at least five members. Members appointed to serve during a particular term will be selected by the Library Director with consultation with the Assessment Committee Chair. Selection may be made from any library unit. Initial appointment to the committee, or appointment to the committee following a service furlough, will be for a two-year term.* Reappointment to the committee following a term of any length will be for a one-year term. Members may be reappointed as often as the chair chooses to do so and they are willing to serve.
Selection may be made from the following units:
Administration (1 member – Library administrator)
Checkout (1 member - Circulation Manager)
(2 members, including Instruction and Undergraduate Experience Librarian)
Systems (1 member)
Technical Services (1 member)
Permanent Members: Instruction and Undergraduate Librarian and Circulation Manager.
Rotating Members: All other committee members will be considered rotating members. Additionally any library administrator appointed to serve on the committee may be rotated.
Length of Terms:
Each rotating member appointed to the Assessment Committee will serve a two-year term. Reappointments following the conclusion of a two-year term are possible. Terms of office will be staggered so that the committee will always include some experienced members.
Nature of Committee’s Work:
Because of the on-going nature of the work of this committee, it will be regarded as a standing library committee. The work of this committee will be accomplished through a standard meeting format. Agenda items will be solicited by the Chair prior to the meeting, serving as the basis for discussion. Minutes will be prepared by a Secretary, appointed annually by the Chair. These minutes will be circulated among the committee members and made available to all library staff.
Drafted: May 22, 2013
Adopted: May 22, 2013
Updated: June 20, 2013
Last Updated: July 7, 2015