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Assessment Plan, 2016-2021

University Library Assessment Planning 2016

Assessment Team 

Ahmed Alwan
Charissa Jefferson
Chris Bulock
Laurie Borchard

I. Our Vision

The Assessment Team facilitates, collects, and disseminates assessment measures gathered throughout the University Library to library personnel and the CSUN community. 

The vision of the University Library Assessment Team is to measure and assess the services and resources the library provides in order to better meet the needs of our users. The library is constantly evolving and we believe the University Library should respond to change by embedding assessment into the culture of our organization. 

For the next six years the Assessment Team will focus on assessing information literacy instruction programs, physical and virtual collections, as well as services for students and faculty. We see the following upcoming changes as an opportunity to embed and promote assessment within the library: Unified Library Management System (ULMS) integration, collection reshaping, new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, and physical space remodels/upgrades to the University Library. 

Throughout all of our assessment activities in the three focus areas (Instruction, Collections, Services) we would like to provide guidance to our colleagues and promote assessment on an individual and departmental basis with the development of toolkits. We would also like to plan an assessment month where we promote assessment initiatives among library personnel. 


II. Library Assessment Plan

Timeline: Data Collection - Year 1; Data Analysis - Year 2; Implementations - Year 3

2015/2016- Information Literacy Instruction data collection

2016/2017- Information Literacy Instruction data analysis
                    Collection development data collection

2017/2018 - Information Literacy Instruction - implementation of change
                    Collection Development - data analysis
                    Library Services - data collection

2018/2019 - Collection Development implementation of change
                  - Library Services data analysis

2019/2020 - Library Services change implementation 

Assessment Plan Activities and Initiatives

1. Information Literacy Assessment 

The assessment team proposes that the RIOS department, in collaboration with the Information Literacy (IL) Framework working group and IL Coordinator, will examine the current Information Competence (IC) student learning outcomes (SLOs) as pertaining to the new ACRL IL Framework. The Framework group will work toward developing a set of new outcomes that can be used in conjunction with the current IC outcomes. A toolkit, created by the IL Coordinator and Framework group, of best practices and surveys will be forthcoming. The SLOs and resources in the toolkit will inform the assessment practices of the RIOS department. 

Undergraduate Students

The assessment team proposes a reexamination of the current student learning outcomes to allow for the incorporation of new outcomes based on the Framework. This can be accomplished in two phases. Phase one will examine the IC outcomes and phase two will endeavor to incorporate new outcomes developed by the Framework group in consultation with the RIOS department.

The assessment team proposes that the information literacy coordinator lead the development of methods for examining the courses (one-shot) taught in RIOS to map to IC outcomes. The IL Coordinator will design a spreadsheet that illustrates each of the course level (100’s, 200’s, 300’s, & 400’s) and map with corresponding IC and Framework outcomes.  After this data is gathered, then an examination of benchmarks/ thresholds can be established as a group. The intent is to norm, systemize, and organize our SLOs according to course level, based on group consensus. For example “As a group of librarians, what do we think a student at the _____ level should know?”

Note: The data collected will be used for internal accountability. 

Graduate Students

The assessment team proposes that the IL coordinator in collaboration with RIOS and the Framework group will examine what practices, tools, resources and reporting structure exist for assessing graduate students’ comprehension of IL. After determining what exists, both parties lead by the IL coordinator will make recommendations for tools, resources, best practices and assessment measures. These recommendations will be reported to the Associate Dean.

Reporting Structure

Information Literacy Coordinator

The assessment team needs more information on what is being assessed in relation to the instruction program. As part of this, the IL coordinator and A-Team will be in consultation with each other to check-in about plans for assessment for the next academic year and beyond. This information will be reported to the campus assessment committee, AALC. The initial consultation will occur at the beginning of each academic year, followed–up by additional check-ins at the end of each semester.

The IL Coordinator will keep the A-Team informed about the outcomes and best practices from the CAT (Council of Library Directors Assessment Team) pilot project and how those will impact the IL program at CSUN.

Reference Coordinator

The assessment team proposes that the Reference Coordinator will check-in once an academic year about assessing the reference services and provide reference statistics.

Online Resources


The assessment team proposes a working group that develops a set of best practices for subject and course specific LibGuides. This group will report to the assessment team on usage statistics and analytics that are collected within LibGuides. This reporting should be done once at the end of the academic year.

Online Tutorials

Librarians designated with the responsibility of creating online resources should provide the A-Team with the online resources they’ve developed and any assessment measures connected with those resources. This reporting should be accomplished at the end of every academic year.
Note: Librarians not specifically designated to develop online resources are encouraged to report what has been developed and any assessment activates as well.

2. Collection Development Assessment

The assessment of collection development activities will occur at different levels. Overall assessments of the collection as well as particular material types will be carried out by the Collection Coordinators. For more subject-specific questions, including reports supplied for accreditation reviews or newly developed programs, individual bibliographers will be doing the bulk of assessment.

The transition from Millennium to Alma is relevant to collection assessment activities in a few ways. Weeding projects and other information-intensive collections activities will generally halt during the implementation phase so that large amounts of records are not removed during testing. Once the system is in place, there will be an opportunity to design a wide range of reports concerning collections that can make use of previously unavailable information such as subjects for electronic resources and students’ majors.

Usage Statistics

The Collection Coordinators will track the circulation and in-house use of physical items as well as the usage of electronic items at a collection level, and if necessary, a format or location level. This information is frequently used in institutional reports to organizations such as ACRL as well as being used within the university. The coordinators should do whatever possible to tie usage to user status (such as faculty, students or staff) and major among students. For electronic resources, the Collection Coordinator for Electronic Resource Management will also track resource level usage in order to inform renewal decisions and to enable cross-resource comparisons.
Collection Analysis for Bibliographers
The Collection Coordinators should facilitate assessment efforts for individual bibliographers by providing assessment tools and educational resources. Bibliographers would also benefit from updated selection criteria for their subjects and possibly the revision or creation of a collection development plan. In particular, coordinators should provide tools relevant to the following bibliographer issues.

Curricular needs

Bibliographers should be able to determine whether their subject collections are meeting the needs of the programs they serve. They may require guidelines from accrediting associations, usage reports by subject area, usage reports by student major, and faculty consultations


Bibliographers and coordinators will use curricular needs assessment to guide their selections, but they must also gather additional information in order to determine which items to select. They may require review sources, vendor demos, or trials in order to assess the appropriateness of new resources.


As the library’s collection continues to age, deselection of items that no longer fit curricular needs is crucial. While implementation of Alma and new ASRS may make large-scale weeding difficult for a while, bibliographers should be able to take advantage of analytics within Alma to assess their print holdings and weed items from the stacks based on usage, age, and condition.

3. Services assessment

The assessment of library services will include assessing patrons' use of and satisfaction with library resources, technology, services, and facilities. The purpose of this assessment is to determine whether the University Library’s resources continue to support learning, teaching, and research within the CSUN community and beyond. This assessment will be completed in coordination with the Assessment Team, Service Desk Supervisors and Library Administration. The Assessment Team will facilitate these ongoing assessment activities through online surveys, focus groups, and observations. 


The Library provides many services in person as well as online. In collaboration with Service Desk Supervisors and Coordinators the use and satisfaction if these services will be assessed through data collection, surveys and observation. 


The University Library provides a dynamic physical environment conducive to learning through technology, adaptable furniture, and group/individual study spaces. As the use of the physical space continues to increase, an in-depth look at how students are currently using the space is needed to determine if it fits their needs and plan future changes to ensure the Library is providing a place that is conducive to individual and collaborative learning and research. 

4. Assessment Promotion Initiatives

In an effort to promote assessment on an individual and programmatic level, the Assessment will provide a list of resources to facilitate assessment including data collection and analyzation. Library employees will report their assessment activities on an ongoing basis through an Assessment Reporting Form available online. An annual Assessment Week will assist in promoting and sharing best practices for library assessment. The Assessment Team will also promote and facilitate the sharing of knowledge through webinars, workshops and library programming.

III. Disseminate assessment data to library faculty and staff

The process of assessment is only complete once the results have been disseminated to relevant stakeholders. The Assessment Team will coordinate the dissemination of assessment data throughout the library and may use a number of different venues depending on the particular assessment.

For centralized assessments carried out by the team, results are typically reported initially to administrators via email and then shared with the library as a whole through Town Halls or meetings of other bodies such as Library Council or Faculty Meetings.

Much of the library’s assessment data is currently stored in SOAR and linked or highlighted on the Assessment Team’s webpage, a practice that should continue. When assessment data should be restricted to library personnel only, it may be placed on the intranet instead.

While annual Town Halls may be useful for broad dissemination, the Assessment Team would also like to present assessment data on an ongoing basis, as it’s gathered and reported by library personnel working in instruction, collections and services. Diffusely gathered assessment data could be presented at Executive Group meetings, as well as being sent directly to department leaders through email. A main goal of this plan is to increase awareness library-wide of the more localized assessment efforts going on within various departments.

While unit-level assessment data are likely already used as an input into departmental goal setting and changes to local policies and procedures, it is our hope that a greater awareness of assessment efforts may also lead to an impact on library-level goal setting and strategic planning.

IV. Disseminate assessment report to campus

One member of the assessment team will serve on the campus assessment committee, AALC, to report out University Library’s annual assessment measures. This report is made available on the CSUN Assessment Website and through ScholarWorks. An abstract of the report is also available.  The content of the report will include what assessment activities the library engaged in and what information was learned or knowledge gained from those measures. Additionally, the library will report on any changes (i.e. closing the loop) that were implemented as a result of the assessment measures.