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Standards for Libraries in Higher Education: Principles & Performance Indicators

Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) have designed these standards to guide academic libraries in advancing and sustaining their role as partners in educating students.

Principles & Performance Indicators

1.  Institutional Effectiveness: Libraries define, develop, and measure outcomes that contribute to institutional effectiveness and apply findings for purposes of continuous improvement.

 

Performance Indicators:

 

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.

 

2.  Professional Values: Libraries advance professional values of intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights and values, user privacy and confidentiality, collaboration, and user-centered service.

Performance Indicators:

2.1 The library resists all efforts to censor library resources.

2.2 The library protects each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality.

2.3 The library respects intellectual property rights and advocates for balance between the interests of information users and rights holders through policy and educational programming.

2.4 The library supports academic integrity and deters plagiarism through policy and education.

2.5 The library commits to a user-centered approach and demonstrates the centrality of users in all aspects of service design and delivery in the physical and virtual environments.

2.6 The library engages in collaborations both on campus and across institutional boundaries.


3.  Educational Role: Libraries partner in the educational mission of the institution to develop and support information-literate learners who can discover, access, and use information effectively for academic success, research, and lifelong learning.

Performance Indicators:

3.1 Library personnel collaborate with faculty and others regarding ways to incorporate library collections and services into effective education experiences for students.

3.2 Library personnel collaborate with faculty to embed information literacy learning outcomes into curricula, courses, and assignments.

3.3 Library personnel model best pedagogical practices for classroom teaching, online tutorial design, and other educational practices.

3.4 Library personnel provide regular instruction in a variety of contexts and employ multiple learning platforms and pedagogies.

3.5 Library personnel collaborate with campus partners to provide opportunities for faculty professional development.

3.6 The library has the IT infrastructure to keep current with advances in teaching and learning technologies.


4.  Discovery: Libraries enable users to discover information in all formats through effective use of technology and organization of knowledge.

Performance Indicators:

4.1 The library organizes information for effective discovery and access.

4.2 The library integrates library resource access into institutional web and other information portals.

4.3 The library develops resource guides to provide guidance and multiple points of entry to information.

4.4 The library creates and maintains interfaces and system architectures that include all resources and facilitates access from preferred user starting points.

4.5 The library has technological infrastructure that supports changing modes of information and resource discovery.

4.6 The library provides one-on-one assistance through multiple platforms to help users find information.


5.  Collections: Libraries provide access to collections sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the institution.

Performance Indicators:  

5.1 The library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths.

5.2 The library provides collections that incorporate resources in a variety of formats, accessible virtually and physically.

5.3 The library builds and ensures access to unique materials, including digital collections.

5.4 The library has the infrastructure to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users.

5.5 The library educates users on issues related to economic and sustainable models of scholarly communication.

5.6 The library ensures long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record.


6.  Space: Libraries are the intellectual commons where users interact with ideas in both physical and virtual environments to expand learning and facilitate the creation of new knowledge.

Peformance Indicators:

6.1 The library creates intuitive navigation that supports self-sufficient use of virtual and physical spaces.

6.2 The library provides safe and secure physical and virtual environments conducive to study and research.

6.3 The library has the IT infrastructure to provide reliable and robust virtual and physical environments needed for study and research.

6.4 The library uses physical and virtual spaces as intellectual commons, providing access to programs, exhibits, lectures, and more.

6.5 The library designs pedagogical spaces to facilitate collaboration and learning, and the creation of new knowledge.

6.6 The library’s physical space features connectivity and up-to-date, adequate, well-maintained equipment and furnishings.

6.7 The library provides clean, inviting, and adequate space, conducive to study and research, with suitable environmental conditions and convenient hours for its services, personnel, resources, and collections.

6.8 The library’s physical and virtual spaces are informed by consultation with users.


7.  Management/Administration: Libraries engage in continuous planning and assessment to inform resource allocation and to meet their mission effectively and efficiently.

Performance Indicators:

7.1 The library’s mission statement and goals align with and advance those developed by the institution.

7.2 Library personnel participate in campus decision making needed for effective library management.

7.3 The library allocates human and financial resources effectively and efficiently to advance the library’s mission.

7.4 The library’s budget is sufficient to provide resources to meet the reasonable expectations of library users when balanced against other institutional needs.

7.5 The library partners with multiple institutions (e.g., via collections consortia) for greater cost-effectiveness and to expand access to collections.

7.6 The library plans based on data and outcomes assessment using a variety of methods both formal and informal.

7.7 The library communicates assessment results to library stakeholders.

7.8 Library personnel model a culture of continuous improvement.

7.9 The library has the IT infrastructure needed to collect, analyze, and use data and other assessments for continuous improvement.


8.  Personnel: Libraries provide sufficient number and quality of personnel to ensure excellence and to function successfully in an environment of continuous change.

Performance Indicators:

8.1 Library personnel are sufficient in quantity to meet the diverse teaching and research needs of faculty and students.

8.2 Library personnel have education and experience sufficient to their positions and the needs of the organization.

8.3 Library personnel demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional development, maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills for themselves and their coworkers.

8.4 Library personnel contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.

8.5 Library personnel are professionally competent, diverse, and empowered.

8.6 Personnel responsible for enhancing and maintaining the library’s IT infrastructure keep current with library technology applications and participate in ongoing training. 


9.  External Relations: Libraries engage the campus and broader community through multiple strategies in order to advocate, educate, and promote their value.

Performance Indicators:

9.1 The library contributes to external relations through communications, publications, events, and donor cultivation and stewardship.

9.2 The library communicates with the campus community regularly.

9.3 Library personnel convey a consistent message about the library and engage in their role as ambassadors in order to expand user awareness of resources, services, and expertise.