15 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 301 2020 In the neoliberal university, we understand why data points and quantitative metrics become the kinds of methods relied on most heavily, especially because in many ways they are more easily tangible and therefore easier to capture. Additionally, they allow us to easily assign a value to a data point. Neoliberal institutional structures within higher education as well as the commodification of education teach us the double-bind of relying solely on these assessment points—they can be helpful for articulating a narrative of needs and success, but they only use one lens. Upon examining and looking more closely at our community, we understood that these metrics are not necessarily the purest, most holistic form of measuring student success. We found the need to think a little more creatively about how we’re defining student success. By extension, when we brought this back to our library community and student success committee, we encouraged our colleagues to resist the standard normative narrative of success. What does it look like to redefine success and our measurements of success? Academic success—from kindergarten through college—is only as good as the holistic support mechanisms students are granted during their education experience, including within the library. For a student experiencing homelessness, their GPA will likely be heavily influenced by a lack of stable housing and social support in ways that will supersede the excellence of a particular library instruction session they attend or the helpfulness of a librarian during a reference interview this is just one case in which singular data points are not an adequate representation of the role a library can play in the academic life of a student whose non-academic needs present a constant challenge that will interfere with their academic success in myriad ways. And in asking our colleagues to redefine their ideas of what student success looks like—beyond the quantitative measures that we must continue to use in contemporary higher education—we begin to better understand our role as a library in the landscape of student success. Our students are more than their graduation rates, GPAs, and degrees conferred.
Previous Page Next Page