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Library Assessment: Assessment Plan

Purpose of the Assessment Plan

This living document outlines the planned work of the Ryerson University Library and Archives Evaluation and Assessment Committee. This plan is in line with the objectives of the RULA 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, specifically the goal to "Develop a robust assessment framework that will allow the Library to improve spaces, services, and collections through ongoing user consultation and research."

As the Terms of Reference of the Evaluation and Assessment Committee outline, the purpose of library assessment is "to report on Library performance and to provide evidence and context for library priority setting and decision-making." The Assessment plan is intended to be a document that guides and prompts action. As Megan Oakleaf describes it, “Library assessments that do not lead to decisions, actions, and communications with stakeholders are not worth doing" ("Building the Assessment Librarian Guildhall: Criteria and Skills for Quality Assessment"). This plan will guide the action of the Evaluation and Assessment Committee as they prioritize data-collection goals and assessment strategies, and inform library stakeholders of their findings, especially for the purposes of outward communication.

Tenets of the Assessment Plan:

  • Build on prior strengths and achievements.
    ("Library Assessment Plans: Four Case Studies." Tatarka, Agnes, et al.)
  • Keep plans relevant to everyday work.
    ("Developing an Academic Library Assessment Plan: A Case Study," Smith, Tryon, and Snyder)
  • Make data comparable. Plan for the short term with the long term in mind.
    ("Library Assessment Plans: Four Case Studies." Tatarka, Agnes, et al.)
  • Communicate assessment information with stakeholders. 
    ("How we Came to Dread Fridays: Developing an Academic Library Assessment Plan Two Hours at a Time," Hockenberry and Little)
  • Ask how assessment activities could improve library performance, priority-setting and decision-making. 

Doc Icon image by Dániel Aczél as a part of the Noun Project Universal circle pack Collection

Presentation image by Maxim Kulikov from the Noun Project.