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Archive for the ‘Studies on Library Trends’ Category

Circulating Ideas Podcasts on Libraries and Fake News

(via Dr. Troy Swanson, Moraine Valley Community College)

I am excited to send along the link to an interview I did with Jeremy Shermak, Moody College of Communication Doctoral Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin about journalism, fake news, libraries, and “truth”. This is part of a series of interviews on the Circulating Ideas podcast on libraries and fake news. I have pasted the first interview below, as well.

  • “Fake News, Journalism and Libraries”: Circulating Ideas Episode 108 (interview with Jeremy Shermak)
  • “Fake News, Information Literacy and Epistemology”: Circulating Ideas Episode 104 (interview with Lane Wilkinson)

Please share where appropriate. Thanks for listening.

Posted in Studies on Library Trends, Webinars | No Comments »

Online College Students Report for 2016 Released

The Learning House, Inc., has released the 2016 edition of its annual Online College Students report. This is the fifth year that the report has been published. The goal of the study is to track not just who makes up the current body of online students, but also why they are enrolled in particular online programs and schools, and what learning features they prefer. In the last few editions of the survey, such topics as competency-based learning, the use of mobile devices, and MOOCs have received a greater focus. The survey also compares trends in online education to those in higher ed. more broadly, including the continued high numbers of online students despite an overall decline in college enrollment. This year’s survey is based on responses from approximately 1,500 current and prospective online students, in addition to recent graduates.

The survey draws nine main conclusions, which are listed below.

  • A large number of students enrolled in online programs clearly prefer that format over the on-campus one, to the point that they would not enroll in a particular degree program if it were not being offered online.
  • Tuition costs continue to be a significant factor in determining which online program a student attends, especially since employer tuition reimbursements have declined and about only a third of students receive scholarships.
  • Most online students already have at least some college credits or relevant life experiences before starting their programs, and so they hope to earn their online degrees relatively quickly.
  • Virtually all online students own a mobile device, and many of them use the device to research prospective programs and then complete coursework once enrolled.
  • Prospective students typically consider only a few institutions when shopping for a program, and they submit their applications within a month or less of starting the search.
  • Related to this, prospective students expect a quick response from the programs to which they have applied, particularly when it comes to awarding financial aid and accepting transfer credits.
  • The demographics for online college students have changed significantly in just the past few years, with the typical student becoming younger, more likely to be single, and less affluent.
  • Online students are increasingly preferring schools that have a physical campus relatively close to (within 100 miles of) their homes.
  • Even though business continues to be the most popular field of study among online students, IT and computer programs have seen increasing enrollments.

To access the survey (you will need to sign up), go here. In addition to the PDF, a webinar and an infographic are available.

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ACRL Report on Top Trends in Academic Libraries

The ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee has released its report on the top trends in academic libraries for 2016. The Committee puts out the report every two years. The 2016 report focuses on such areas as research data services (RDS), emerging staff positions, and the impact of ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy. The main findings for each area are below.

Research Data Services (RDS)

  • The number of college and research libraries in the U.S. and Canada that offer research data services has remained steady, despite plans by many institutions to begin offering data services of some type.
  • The majority of libraries are moving current staff into newly-created data positions, rather than hiring additional librarians; as a result, the demand for professional-development opportunities related to RDS has increased.

Digital Scholarship

  • More libraries are creating digital-scholarship centers, often in collaboration with other campus entities, to help promote education and research.
  • These centers provide non-traditional research tools, including big data and visualization, and they instruct faculty and students in such areas of digital scholarship as asset management and preservation.

Collection Assessment Trends

  • Many libraries have worked to make collections more agile, or responsive to changes in institutional curricular and research needs.
  • In light of budget constraints, libraries have re-evaluated various acquisition models, including bulk purchases of journal subscriptions and pay-per-view access.

ILS and Content Provider/Fulfillment Mergers

  • Journal vendors continue to consolidate, which has the potential to affect pricing, negotiation, and collection budgets.
  • Even though the mergers do offer improvements in efficiency and innovation, they also limit purchasing options and have long-term impacts that are hard to predict.

Evidence of Learning

  • Higher education is increasingly measuring student success through learning outcomes, in light of concerns over accreditation and graduation rates.
  • Libraries have an opportunity to contribute through developing learning analytics as a way to measure students academic and social progress, and also by making their physical space reflective of student needs, such as by creating more space for collaboration.

New Directions with the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

  • The Framework emphasizes the information ecosystem and asks librarians to take a more holistic approach to information literacy, including the discovery, use, and creation of knowledge.
  • The document also highlights the idea of critical information literacy, or the learning process as a series of steps that librarians should constantly evaluate and improve.


  • Altmetrics are seeing increased use by both repositories and publishers, in order to track user reading and research habits (for instance, through citation analysis) and improve services.
  • Despite the amount of data produced by altmetrics, libraries should analyze the quality of that data, to ensure that the collection and analysis methods are as reliable as possible.

Emerging Staff Positions

  • Overall trends that have emerged in job requirements include having technology and technical-support skills, being interested in the user experience, and possessing an awareness of current trends, especially relating to emerging technologies and data analysis.
  • Across all jobs (not just those in library and information science), collaboration and communication were considered among the most important skills.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • Due to the skyrocketing costs of college textbooks and an increasing awareness of OER among the general public, colleges and universities are taking steps to develop open-access policies and tools.
  • Librarians can play a key role in this effort by locating open-access materials and working with faculty to integrate OER into the curriculum, including in MOOCs and other non-traditional class formats.

To see the full summary of the report that appears in the June, 2016, issue of College & Research Libraries News, go here.

Posted in Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), Studies on Library Trends | No Comments »

(via Gwen Gregory, IACRL President)

A new report issued by ACRL, Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects“, shows compelling evidence for library contributions to student learning and success. The report focuses on dozens of projects conducted as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) by teams that participated in the second year of the program, from April 2014 to June 2015. Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports (fully searchable online) and using past findings from projects completed during the first year of the AiA program as context, the report identifies strong evidence of the positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas:

Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.Library use increases student success. Students who use the library in some way (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, and retention). Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.

The three-year AiA program is helping over 200 postsecondary institutions of all types create partnerships at their institution to promote library leadership and engagement in campus-wide assessment. Each participating institution establishes a team with a lead librarian and at least two colleagues from other campus units. Team members frequently include teaching faculty and administrators from such departments as the assessment office, institutional research, the writing center, academic technology, and student affairs. Over a 14-month period, the librarians lead their campus teams in the development and implementation of a project that aims to contribute to assessment activities at their institution.

“The findings about library impact in each of the four areas described above are particularly strong because they consistently point to the library as a positive influencing factor on students’ academic success,” said Karen Brown, who prepared the report and is a professor at Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science. “This holds true across different types of institutional settings and with variation in how each particular program or service is designed.”

In addition, there is building evidence of positive library impact in five areas, although they have not been studied as extensively or findings may not be as consistently strong:

Student retention improves with library instructional services.Library research consultation services boost student learning.Library instruction adds value to a student’s long-term academic experience.The library promotes academic rapport and student engagement.Use of library space relates positively to student learning and success.

In addition to findings about library impact, participant reflections reveal that a collaborative team-based approach on campus is an essential element of conducting an assessment project and planning for subsequent action. Kara Malenfant, contributor to the report and a senior staff member at ACRL, noted, “The benefits of having diverse team members working together are clear. They achieve common understanding about definitions and attributes of academic success, produce meaningful measures of student learning, align collaborative assessment activities with institutional priorities, create a unified campus message about student learning and success, and focus on transformative and sustainable change.”

Read more in the full report, “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects“. The executive summary is available as a separate document, formatted to share broadly with campus stakeholders.

Join a free ACRL Presents live webcast to hear more from the report authors on Monday, May 9, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM CST. Convert additional time zones online.) Submit your free registration online by Friday May 6, 2016. Login details will be sent via email the afternoon of May 6. The webcast will be recorded and made available shortly after the live event.

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ALA releases 2016 “The State of America’s Libraries Report”

The American Library Association has released its annual “The State of America’s Libraries Report” in a special issue of American Libraries magazine. The report covers the latest issues and trends affecting libraries of all types–academic, school, and public. Some of the major challenges, affecting the profession as a whole, that the report identifies include community engagement, intellectual freedom, and online privacy. The report also reviews professional demographics for each type of library.

For academic libraries, the report notes the main challenge as being able to demonstrate the library’s value to the broader institution it serves, especially in helping students succeed academically. ACRL’s “Assessment in Action” program has helped gather an increasing amount of evidence showing conclusively that libraries have a significant impact, particularly in five areas.

  • strengthening the information-literacy standards for first-year students–this is especially important, as many new students lack experience finding research articles or evaluating the quality of information
  • solidifying the link between student academic success and using the library–this has been acknowledged by the majority of top academic administrators; they consider the resources and services libraries provide as having a greater impact than do classroom and online courses, scholarly research, and analyses of institutional data
  • ensuring that library instruction has a significant impact on retaining students–not only freshmen, but also seniors, have acknowledged that the library plays a significant role in enhancing their ability to find, analyze, and use information
  • documenting that libraries make a substantial contribution to campus-wide academic support services for students, as libraries have placed a high priority on the “learning commons” concept of providing collaborative spaces for students to exchange ideas and experiment with multimedia technology
  • improving the student learning experience by providing research consultation-faculty have given libraries high marks for giving one-on-one consultations, in addition to classroom instruction sessions

The report also includes some facts and figures on current demographics and finances for academic libraries.

  • in 2015, academic libraries supplied nearly 27% of jobs for new LIS graduates; the average beginning salary was approximately $42,000
  • in 2014, doctorate-granting and research institutions had the largest staff size, with around 50 employees; associate-granting schools had the smallest, with an average of just over five staff members
  • conversely, salaries and wages made up the largest percentage of the budget at associate-granting colleges; they took up the lowest percentage at doctorate-granting and research institutions

To see the full report, go here. The section covering academic libraries is on pages 7-8.

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HEDS Research Practices Survey Now Open

(via Lizabeth Pinkerton, Wabash College in Crawfordsville, IN)

Registration for the spring administration of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium’s Research Practices Survey is open. The HEDS Research Practices Survey only takes about 15 minutes to complete and includes questions that map to each of the Association of College and Research Libraries’ five information literacy competency standards. When administered to incoming first-year students, the survey provides important comparative baseline information that faculty and librarians can use in developing pedagogies and materials to advance their students’ research and information literacy skills. When administered to both incoming and upper-level students, the HEDS Research Practices Survey can be used to assess the outcomes of liberal arts instruction in college-level research skills (longitudinally or by cross-section).

Please click here to find out more about the survey and registration. To register for the survey, go here. If you have questions about the survey, please contact Adrea Hernandez at hernanda@wabash.edu.

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(via Gwen Gregory, IACRL President)

ACRL announces the publication of 2014 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. The three-volume set includes Associate of Arts institutions, Master’s Colleges and Universities/Baccalaureate Colleges and Research/Doctoral-granting Institutions. The individual volumes for Associates CollegesMasters/Baccalaureate, and Doctoral-Granting institutions are also available for purchase.

The 2014 data show that library expenditures for collection materials averaged $6,471,262 for doctoral degree-granting institutions; $776,119 for comprehensive degree-granting institutions; $509,643 for baccalaureate schools; and $143,254 for associate-degree granting institutions. The percentage of the collection materials budget spent on ongoing resources purchases (including subscription expenditures) averaged 70% of the total materials budget. On average, doctoral degree granting institutions spent 74.6% of their materials budgets on ongoing purchases in 2013; comprehensive schools spent an average of 76.5%; baccalaureate schools spent an average 71.5%; and associate degree granting institutions spent an average of 55.6%.

The 2014 data show that expenditures for salaries and wages accounted for 57.3% of the total library expenditures on average. Salaries and wages constituted 77.9% of total library expenditures for associate-degree granting institutions, 52.7% for baccalaureate, 54.7% for comprehensive schools, and 44% for doctoral/research institutions.

Of the libraries surveyed, 34.3% of doctoral degree-granting institutions, 33.8% of comprehensive degree-granting institutions, 20.6% of baccalaureate schools, and 16.9% of associate-degree granting institutions require professional development for tenure-track consideration or other advancement. Less than half of academic libraries have measures or methods in place to assess the impact of professional development, but a small percentage of libraries require staff to report how their professional development activities support student learning or research outcomes at their institutions, with 10.46% of baccalaureate schools using this method. In the past three years, funding for professional development has increased for more doctoral/research institutions (30.8%) than comprehensive schools (19.9%), baccalaureate schools (19.3%), or associate-degree granting institutions (11.4%). Of the libraries surveyed, most budgeted between .01 and 1.99% for professional development including 49% of doctoral/research schools, 42.6% of comprehensive schools, 38% of baccalaureate schools, and 23.4% of associate degree granting institutions.

The 2014 survey includes data from 1,449 academic libraries in seven major categories: collections (including titles held, volumes, and electronic books), expenditures (library materials, salaries and wages, etc.), personnel and public services (staff and services), degrees granted, faculty, student enrollment, and professional development. The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, mean and median) for all elements. The 2014 data can be used for self-studies, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications, and benchmarking.

The 2014 Academic Library Trends and Statistics report is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the U.S. or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

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2016 NMC Horizon Report on Higher Ed. Trends Released

The New Media Consortium (NMC) has released its annual report, which is a collaboration between NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The document, titled NMC Horizon Report > 2016 Higher Education Edition (there are other editions for different levels of schooling, in addition to one for libraries), is based on yearly findings from the ongoing NMC Horizon Project. The Project identifies and examines those emerging technologies that are most likely to have a significant effect on learning and teaching in the future, particularly as they relate to creative inquiry. Through these findings, the report zeroes in on the key trends, developments, and challenges in educational technology, over both the short-term and the long-term. The report is intended for not just educators and technology experts, but also administrators and other leaders in higher education.
The 2016 edition identifies the following key issues in technology and higher education.

Short-Term Impact

  • Increased emphasis on measuring learning
  • More use of blended learning models

Mid-Term Impact

  • Reconfiguring learning spaces
  • Moving to deeper approaches to learning

Long-Term Impact

  • Promoting cultures of innovation
  • Reconsidering how institutions function


Developments in Technology
Near-Term (1 year or less)

  • Bring your own device
  • Learning analytics and adaptive technology

Mid-Term (2-3 years)

  • Augmented and virtual reality
  • Makerspaces

Far-Term (4-5 years)

  • Affective computing
  • Robotics


  • Mixing formal and informal learning
  • Increasing digital literacy


  • Competing educational models
  • Personalization of learning


  • Balancing “wired” and “unwired” lives
  • Ensuring that education remains vital

To access the full report, go here.

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Study on College Graduates’ Long-Term Information Needs

Project Information Literacy, in collaboration with the University of Washington Information School and the Institute of Museum and Libraries, recently released the report Staying Smart: How Today’s Graduates Continue to Learn Once They Complete College. The impetus behind the report was that not much research had been done on the information-seeking behaviors of college graduates once they have finished their schooling. In particular, the role that lifelong learning has in the professional and personal lives of graduates is a topic that the report’s authors deemed merited more attention. Formal learning (through workplace training and continuing education) and informal learning (through pursuing hobbies or receiving information from family and friends) both have a key role to play in how people acquire information throughout their lives. The questions that guided the report’s authors revolved around what information needs people have, what information sources they use, and what skills they learned in college (such as critical thinking) are applied to seeking information. The ultimate goal of the report was to modify the information-seeking framework for lifelong learning, if necessary.

The report came to the following conclusions.

  • College graduates have a broad skill set that allows them to acquire additional competencies and knowledge.
  • The most-common uses of information were to solve relatively simple problems in their own lives, including those related to financial management.
  • In the workplace, graduates wanted career and professional guidance, including advice on interpersonal communication skills.
  • For actually finding information, search engines (such as Google) and blogs were the most popular.
  • Despite the desire to stay informed, many people found it difficult to do so, due to the vast amount of information they have to navigate.
  • Most graduates agreed that the skills they had acquired in college, including critical thinking, did carry over to their post-college lives.

To view the full report, click here.

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Report on Open Access in Europe

Knowledge Exchange, a European partnership for enhancing services in higher education and research, has released a report on open access, Putting Down Roots: Securing the Future of Open Access Policies. The report examines the relationship between open-access policies and services in five European countries (Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom), plus the European Union. Open access has taken on an increasingly prominent role in Europe over the past decade, as more academic and research institutions–at both the national level and across countries–have adopted open-access policies. Even though these policies often differ in emphasis, the report finds them to contain several common elements, including requiring or encouraging that documents be deposited in repositories and that publishing be done via open access. The report also identifies a number of service types that facilitate the implementation of open-access policies, including abstracting and indexing, support and dissemination, repository, open-access publishing, and monitoring.

The report identifies the following areas as needing further action in the near future.

  • Adopting sound governance structures–ensuring that supporting services operate efficiently and fairly, and that consistent standards are enforced by national and international governing bodies
  • Ensuring the financial stability of vital services-enabling cooperation among publishers, institutions, and funders to keep key open-access providers solvent; and exploring the feasibility of an international funding and governance system for particular services
  • Creating a completely-interoperable repository service for open-access-encouraging self-archiving of open-access materials through establishing central nodes and rules for interoperability
  • Making the transition from individual services to a larger open-access infrastructure-communicating with the publishing industry, and creating new rules and mechanisms, to ensure that all stakeholders in open access benefit from centralized services

To read the full report, click here.

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