SPEC Kit 330: Library Contribution to Accreditation  · 17
Survey Questions and Responses
The SPEC Survey on Library Contribution to Accreditation was designed by Holly Mercer, Associate Dean,
Scholarly Communication and Research Services, University of Tennessee, and Michael Maciel, Assessment
Coordinator, Texas A&M University. These results are based on data submitted by 41 of the 115 academic
ARL member libraries (37%) by the deadline of April 30, 2012. The survey’s introductory text and questions
are reproduced below, followed by the response data and selected comments from the respondents.
Libraries conduct assessment exercises for a number of reasons, including improvement of practice, service alignment with
community needs, fiscal responsibility, and improved customer satisfaction. Increasingly, and more fervently, academic libraries are
also called upon to demonstrate their value and contributions to student learning outcomes. This is especially true when libraries
participate in institutional accreditation or reaccreditation reporting, strategic continuous improvement processes, and quality
enhancement plans.
Libraries, academic programs, and higher education institutions may all be subject to accreditation processes that require
documentation of library services and collections. These exercises demonstrate how libraries contribute to student learning and
institutional mission. As the authors prepare for the reaccreditation process at our own institutions, we reflected on the types
of information we gather to illustrate how the libraries support research and teaching excellence and community engagement.
A common set of data analyses among ARL libraries may help to demonstrate relevancy of library programs and services to the
accrediting agencies. Further, institutions would benefit from shared technical knowledge of online assessment management
databases often used to collect and report data for accreditation and assessment.
The purpose of this survey is to identify the scope of accreditation standards and requirements from accrediting organizations, and to
demonstrate how libraries are contributing to their institutions’ successful accreditation and reaccreditation. While most accreditation
requirements have one or more standards or criteria devoted to libraries, institutions may also ask libraries to contribute data to
other standards, such as faculty qualifications or student services. The study will provide libraries with a list of peer contacts to
seek assistance concerning an accrediting agency’s requirements and analysis methodology, as well as support when using online
assessment management databases.
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