It’s summer at last, and that means that many of you may have time to take stock a little—see what needs tweaking for the fall, what can go, and what needs a complete overhaul. You’ll have an idea of how your various initiatives are going, of course, but to make the most informed decisions you should rely on usage statistics.
Every now and then the conversation about the necessity for librarians to have an MLS restarts. This year, it was hotly debated during the search for a new Executive Director for ALA. Whether the person should be required to hold an MLS (or equivalent, such as MLIS) was the subject of many articles and blogs, including at Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, and, last week, at Meredith Farkas’s blog, Information Wants to be Free.
When I was in library school, we constantly heard that it was important to graduate quickly so that the skills we learned early on wouldn’t be out of date by graduation. At a certain point, however, graduation is long past and you need a brush-up on a few things, or to learn about new things that didn’t exist back in school. Where should you turn?
Next week, Credo invites you to join us in our InfoLit Learning Community for a presentation from librarian and accreditation expert Kate Sawyer. On Thursday, June 28 at 2 PM Eastern Time, Sawyer will present a free webinar called “Accreditation Tips and Pitfalls: Accreditation, Reaccreditation, and Your Role,” after which she will take live questions from the audience on concerns when facing the accreditation process, whether you're in the midst of it, or just embarking on it.
Accreditation has been on our minds lately at Credo, as we’re currently updating our list of which of the various accrediting bodies’ requirements are met by each of our InfoLit Modules—we’ll soon share that new information in our Learning Community.
One of the resources that continues to inform our thinking on accreditation is a webinar that we presented last year. In it, Kate Sawyer, a consultant who specializes in assisting libraries that are preparing for “the big day,” discussed why librarians should view an accreditation review as an opportunity; Sawyer also has strong feelings on which opportunities libraries should squeeze through while they have the chance.
Last week’s blog post discussed what to do if your accreditation visit involves discussing a mistake or lapse in some aspect of your library’s work. Communicating that without ruining your accreditation chances can be a minefield. But what if you’re gearing up to tell the committee about a great success? It might seem like an easy task at first, but there’s a knack to being forthright about success while maintaining the academic tone required in an accreditation report or interview.
So you’re faced with an accreditation visit. You’ve looked back at your notes and plans from the previous visit and there’s a problem... you didn’t do what you said you would. Or, you tried to do whatever it was you promised but it didn’t work out. What next? How can you discuss this issue in a way that doesn’t reflect badly on the library or the institution as a whole?
Accreditation: it’s a scary time, and it can seem like the institution’s future hangs on whether the library can show its worth. Take a deep breath! This isn’t a “gotcha” moment. It’s an opportunity for you to show all the things the library is already doing that both help individual students and move the school closer to its goals. Remember, too, that the accreditation committee wants you to succeed. Especially if this is a reaccreditation visit, they’re just looking to see that you’re meeting your goals.
Amanda DiFeterici, Senior Manager, Product Strategy at Credo recently described Credo Insights, a new product that Modules subscribers will have access to this month. In the interview, DiFeterici discussed what Insights is, how it can be used to get a clearer picture of a library’s success in information literacy instruction, and how to learn more about the product. Be sure to join her webinar Credo Insights: Usage and Assessment Data Made Easy as part of the InfoLit Learning Community web series on May 24 at 2pm ET.
Credo will soon debut a new product, Credo Insights, which you were instrumental in developing. Can you tell readers what Credo Insights is?
Credo Insights is an analytics platform that gives librarians multifaceted information about usage of their InfoLit Modules subscription. That information includes assessment and usage data. Combining those two types of data, drilling down into different types of assessments, and figuring out who is using the Modules can uncover much, not only about how the product is being used at an institution, but also how students are participating and performing in that institution’s information literacy program.
Over the past few months, we’ve presented a series of webinars as part of our InfoLit Learning Community, covering topics from using Credo Modules in library instruction, to collaborating with faculty, to helping students thrive in a new media environment. (If you missed any, catch the recordings here!) We hope that you’ve been able to bring some of the information our speakers have imparted into your work this semester, or plan to do so in the fall. But the question remains, how will you know if the new information and activities are helping students? That’s where assessment comes in.