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Library Assessment: Assessment Plan

Purpose of the Assessment Plan

This living document outlines the planned work of the Toronto Metropolitan University Library and Archives Evaluation and Assessment Committee.

The Terms of Reference (internal document) identifies that the Evaluation and Assessment Committee "provides strategic direction for library evaluation and assessment work." To this end, 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. 

Assessment Plan 2021-2022

For 2021-2022, the annual assessment plan emphasizes evaluation and assessment that is responsive to COVID-19-related Library services and the corresponding needs and challenges of patrons. As an ongoing pandemic, COVID-19 is likely to evolve in ways that will require continued service flexibility, which ongoing evaluation can provide. The annual assessment plan is conceived of as an adaptable, living document; due to pandemic uncertainty, that framing is more important this year than normal. This assessment plan, like the previous ones, also brings together different Library teams for collaborative work. The flexibility of this plan is essential for ensuring collaboration in a time of increased workloads and pandemic-related concerns.

Previous annual plans have mapped assessment projects to the Library Strategic Plan. As the Library is currently developing the next Strategic Plan, this year’s projects are mapped to the University Academic Plan.
There is also an attempt in this plan to balance assessment that considers services, collections, and space.

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Assessment Project

Type, Purpose, and Rationale

Strategic Plan Mapping




Liaison Model Assessment 

The purpose of this assessment is to determine the strengths and areas for improvement of the current liaison model.

Focus groups were chosen as an appropriate assessment method because they enabled librarian conversation across teams and match assessment used to create the new model. These focus groups were conducted in summer 2021.  

In fall 2021, the focus group data will be analyzed, shared back with liaison librarians, and followed by additional data collection.

Student Experience; 
SRC and Graduate Studies; Innovation: Challenging the Status Quo

Assessment Librarian, Associate Chief Librarian, Liaison Team Leads

Fall 2021


Strategic Planning Measures

The purpose of this assessment is to identify measures to quantify and/or describe progress on strategic planning goals as they are developed in the current Library Strategic Plan.

Innovation: Challenging the Status Quo

Associate Chief Librarian, Assessment Librarian


November 2021


Workshop forms implementation

In order to better collect workshop data, workshop sign up forms and feedback forms have been revised and standardized to match other instruction data. 

The purpose of this revision is to make data collection easier, more accurate, more useful, and enable librarians to access sign up and feedback data. 

In order to understand trends in workshop registration and attendance, the fall workshop data will be analyzed. This will enable better planning of workshops and communication.

Student Experience; SRC & Graduate Studies; Community and Urban Partnerships

Assessment Librarian, Teaching and Learning Dept. Head, Collaboratory Operations Specialist

Form implemented in September 2021, Data analyzed in Winter 2022 




Data dashboard




Following the approval of Google Data Studio, the Assessment Librarian will create data visualizations of Library assessment data and share these with data stakeholders and users. The purpose of these consultations is to facilitate the streamlined collection of and access to data that can be used on a regular basis to better understand and improve Library services, as well as to capture and communicate the impact of the Library to the priorities of the University. The dashboard should also meet regular reporting requirements.  

Innovation: Challenging the Status Quo

Assessment Librarian, Associate Chief Librarian, Heads,  Lead Hands Fall 2021 for visuals created, Winter 2022 for consultation


Scan and Deliver Data Analysis

The purpose of this assessment is to better understand why Library patrons, including students, faculty, and staff, have used the Scan and Deliver service. What benefits does it offer them, what barriers does it help them overcome, and what role do scanned materials plan in their scholarly research? This information will allow the Library to better understand the effectiveness of this service and plan for future service offerings.

Student Experience; SRC & Graduate Studies 

Assessment Librarian, BLS & Collections Librarian Winter 2022 Data Collection and Analysis  
Evaluation of Usage on Electronic Collections

This project will use EZProxy data to analyze trends and usage by faculty of study. The goal of this project is to support collections acquisitions and renewals, especially for new initiatives and programs where usage patterns could inform acquisition decisions. 
New solutions for how to analyze electronic resource usage patterns by patron type, program or faculty of study will be explored in this project.

SRC & Graduate Studies

Acquisitions Librarian, Lead Hand Collections This project will be ongoing until 
Winter 2022
Gobi Analysis

Due to changes in Library collections practices, the software used for book purchases is presenting challenges related to acquisition and data management. This project would identify issues with the Gobi system. The purpose of this project would be to improve Library collections data and processes, which would in turn improve the ability of the Library to support research. 

SRC & Graduate Studies

Collections team members, Lead Hand Collections Ongoing, with a completion goal of April 2022  
Library Space Assessment and Post-Occupancy Evaluation

Space assessment for winter 2022 will be guided by strategic planning and adapted as needed to changing needs and context. 
Newer furniture has been acquired for floors 6 and 7. Part of the project will include exploring student preferences for different types of library furniture. 

Student Experience; SRC and Graduate Studies; Community and Urban Partnerships

Associate Chief Librarian, others TBD. TBD  
Law Library Space Use

The purpose of this assessment is to understand how the Law Library space, which was established in 2020, is used. This data will be useful for making immediate service improvements and for planning for the planned new Law Library space. 

Student Experience; Community and Urban Partnerships; SRC & Graduate Studies

Associate Chief Librarian, Assessment Librarian, Head Law Librarian

Fall 2021

Trans National Education - UCE and RUIC Library Support and Demand 

The Library is serving two new groups of students and instructors at the Universities of Canada, Cairo and Toronto Metropolitan University International College (RUIC). The assessment of services that are provided and used by these students and instructors will be adjusted to capture data from them, and this will be assessed on an ongoing basis. 

Student Experience, Innovation; Challenging the Status Quo

Electronic Resources Librarian, 
Head BLS, Head LLS, Liaison Librarians in relevant subject areas, Assessment Librarian
Fall 2021 for initial data collection and Winter 2021 for data analysis.  
Marginalized Student Study

This multi-institutional qualitative research study will include a survey of graduate students and interviews with students from marginalized groups about their challenges during COVID-19. Its purpose is to learn about the Library service needs of researchers outside of the dominant majority, and this knowledge will be used to create best practices. Graduate students face research challenges that have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and are in need of study and support.

Student Experience, SRC & Graduate Studies; Innovation: Challenge the Status Quo

Assessment Librarian and Liaison Librarian  This is a two-year study. Data collection will commence this academic year.   

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.