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Assessment at ODU Libraries

Purpose and Strategy

The purpose of the University Libraries’ assessment program is to measure its contributions in support of students, faculty, and staff and the strategic priorities of the University, to enable the Libraries to evaluate progress of its own strategic goals and objectives, to identify actions that can be taken to make improvements, and to identify areas for further assessment. Ongoing assessment allows the Old Dominion University Libraries to adapt and evolve and to make continuous improvements to the services it provides the Old Dominion University community. The Assessment Team Work Plan, which is updated annually, will guide the short-term priorities of the team. 

Assessment Strategy 

  • Our approach to assessment is collaborative and relies on participation from all areas within the Libraries 

  • Assessment activities are prioritized to focus on the strategic priority areas of the Libraries and areas of greatest potential improvements  

  • Assessment activities are scaled to our staff size and skill set. At times, technical assistance or outside expertise may be required to conduct more rigorous assessments 

  • Where appropriate we will take advantage of existing instruments and programs to help to facilitate our assessments 

  • The Libraries’ Assessment Team will provide periodic training to library employees to develop assessment knowledge and skills  

Culture of Assessment

Library assessments are used to inform decision-making that meets patron needs and to demonstrate value to stakeholders (Zaugg et al., 2022). A culture of assessment is an organizational environment in which all employees participate in the assessment process and assessment is a valued and regular part of the planning process (Farkas, 2013). Assessment is a process of continuous observation, data collection, analysis, and adjustment. Formal and informal assessment is needed in all aspects of library work in order to make decisions based on evidence. The Assessment Team will shape the culture of assessment at the ODU Libraries through training, communication, modeling, and advocacy. 

Sharing with Stakeholders

We believe in the value of open communication of our strengths and weaknesses to determine actions that will contribute to a cycle of continuous improvement. Assessment activities and findings are shared with internal and external stakeholders to report on library activities and accomplishments, identify needs, and advocate for needed resources.  

LibInsight is used to develop Dashboards that the Assessment Team deems appropriate for visual data. LibGuides is the current platform used to showcase assessment to external stakeholders via the website. 

The Libraries’ Annual Report also provides a focused snapshot of library activities and accomplishments to our external stakeholders. The Annual Report represents the service and advancement of ODU Libraries throughout one full fiscal year. As a source for reference, documentation, and branding, the report also helps strengthen connectivity to the University’s strategic plan, campus goals, and core values.  

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