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Library Assessment

University Library Contributions to Student Success

In support of Graduation Initiative 2025, the University Library has developed a new and ongoing set of assessments of our contributions to undergraduate student retention, timely progress to graduation, and inclusive excellence.  

  • Impact of Library Use on First Year Retention and Student Success, May 2019

This study of all 5,214 first time freshmen who entered CSUN in Fall 2017 found that the more books and media a student checks out from the library during their first year, the more likely they are to return for their second year, even after controlling for college of enrollment, high school GPA, and other confounding factors. Not only retention is improved by library use, but also progress to graduation: first-year students who check out materials of all kinds from the library earn more course credits. These findings are highly statistically significant and robust to a wide variety of specifications.

  • Student Survey, 2018

Survey responses from a representative sample of 1,465 CSUN students were combined with those students' library use, demographic, and student success data to learn more about how students use and perceive the library and how that affects their academic acheivement.  Results indicate that the University Library serves students inclusively - our Pell-eligible students are more likely to visit the library than higher-income students, and traditionally underserved students of color are more likely to use digital library resources than students from traditionally better served ethnic groups, even when controlling for their major college. Receiving library instruction is a highly significant positive predictor of timely progress to graduation.

To protect the privacy of student data, complete copies of these reports are available only by request; please email the Assessment Librarian, Laura Wimberley, for more details.

The next assessment of the University Library's contributions to student success is an examination of the impact of course reserves and Affordable Learning Solutions on the pass/fail rate and achievement gap in undergraduate courses; a report will be available by spring 2020. The student survey will recur in alternating years and is next slated for November 2020.

University Library Contributions to Student Learning Outcomes

The University Library assesses our contributions to student learng outcomes (SLOs) by a meta-analysis of the SLOs created by academic departments in other colleges that pertain to information literacy and the library instruction and digital learning objects that support them.  This is conducted as part of the university-wide Academic Assessment Liaison Committee


Charge of the Library Assessment and Student Success Committee

The Library Assessment and Student Success Committee will serve to: a) investigate and recommend methods for assessing library outcomes including, but not limited to: information competence, library collections, library services, and impact on student success; b) promote participation in library assessment projects and campus and systemwide student success initiatives; c) assist in the review and interpretation of assessment data; and d) recommend changes to implement findings of assessment projects to further student success. 

The Committee will consult with other library committees, departments, and personnel, as well as relevant campus entities as appropriate.

Team Members: