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Salem State University Assessment in Action (AiA) Project: ACRL Assessment in Action (AiA) Project

ACRL Assessment in Action (AiA) Initiative

Assessment in Action (AiA) is part of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries initiative. It is supported by the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APUL), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). 

The AiA initiative aims to further academic libraries’ efforts to participate in higher education discussions of accountability by teaching librarians how to demonstrate their roles in student learning and success.

Over a three year period, 300 institutions will be selected to participate in an AiA learning community. Participants will develop and implement an action learning project that assesses the impact of various aspects of libraries on student learning. Projects are led by team leaders who undergo rigorous and face to face training from AiA leaders.

The principal goals of AiA are:

  • “Develop the professional competencies of librarians to document and communicate the value of their academic libraries primarily in relation to their institution’s goals for student learning and success.” (
  • “Build and strengthen collaborative relationships with higher education stakeholders around the issue of library value.” (
  • “Contribute to higher education assessment work by creating approaches, strategies, and practices that document the contribution of academic libraries to the overall goals and missions of their institutions.” (


The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report

This 2010 report was prepared by Megan Oakleaf for ACRL. Oakleaf is a Professor at Syracuse University's iSchool.

The Value of Academic Libraries reviews library literature to present the status of the current value of  libraries; suggestions for next steps; and a suggested research agenda.

Though the focus is on academic libraries, Oakleaf also surveys the literature for school, special (corporate, medical, and law), and public libraries.

Institute of Museum and Library Service (IMLS)

In September 2012, ACRL was awarded a National Leadership Demonstration Grant of $249,330 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA).