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Thursday, April 20 • 10:45am - 12:00pm
Tell the Truth: Using Library Program Review for Transformation

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Program reviews (a regular occurrence for academic departments) are becoming more commonplace for academic libraries. For most library workers, a library program review sounds like a thankless task intended only to illustrate the library's best side. However, that is the least effective way to approach library program review. In an era of "do more with less, the best thing you can do to advocate for your library is to tell the truth about its strengths and weaknesses through the official process of program review. In this session, attendees will learn the processes, tools, best practices, opportunities, and challenges of library program review. Although program review shares the structure of the accreditation process (self-study, external review, and response paper), it is a much more valuable assessment tool. The self-study portion can provide a deep dive into the strengths and weaknesses of the library by using guidelines, standards, and frameworks such as the ACRL Standards for Academic Libraries in Higher Education, ACRL Diversity Standards, and the ALA DEI Scorecard for Library and Information Organizations. The external reviewers are invited from peer libraries who best understand the library's issues. Finally, the response paper is the perfect launch pad for strategic planning within the library. Academic institutions that do program reviews likely have self-study and site visit templates. However, these templates are often not configured for libraries. For this reason, many libraries may have more autonomy in crafting the elements of their self-study and site visits to adequately address their needs. Panelists will explain how they retrofitted the templates, created new ones, and utilized software, as well as other ways they changed the typical process to better document the strengths and weaknesses of their libraries. Through panelists' recent experiences, you'll learn about this process from multiple perspectives, including heads of libraries/departments, internal review team staff, and external peer reviewers. The panelists whose libraries underwent reviews will address the challenges and opportunities of conducting their program reviews. They will discuss their desired outcomes and how well these were met by the process, their reviewers' report, and the reception from staff and administration. The reviewer panelist will outline their experience and the roadblocks they faced. All of the panelists will share lessons learned from the process. Overall, this session is a crash course on library program review--a rarely discussed but essential aspect of current academic libraries.

Sponsored by
Georgia State University Library

avatar for Heather Slania

Heather Slania

Director, Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art

avatar for Nedda Ahmed

Nedda Ahmed

College of the Arts Librarian, Georgia State University

Suzanne Rackover

University Librarian, Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Thursday April 20, 2023 10:45am - 12:00pm CDT
Adelita Av. Juárez 70, Colonia Centro, Centro, Cuauhtémoc, 06010 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico