She’s moving out in all directions …
Like this Talking Heads song, this is how my summer has been – moving out in all directions. Though to be clear – I am NOT taking LSD in a field next to a Yoo-hoo beverage factory in Baltimore, Maryland (thanks for this information Wikipedia), nor am I lying in any grass. I have been working with my colleagues on lots and lots of assessment projects, all simultaneously. And it’s fun and exciting and draining and cool. (And busy.)
Let me do a brief inventory:
- Assessment of Learning in the Academic Library
- Student Affairs Assessment
- Academic Department Assessment Reports – 2010-2011
- Academic Department Assessment Plans – 2011-2012
- Preparing for rolling out Department Review- Chapter 2: Student Learning
- Liberal Arts Core Revision (and supporting myriad assessment projects associated with the current LAC outcomes)
- NWCCU Accreditation – Standard One
- Hiring and welcoming our new Assessment Research Coordinator
- Hiring and welcoming our new Service Program Coordinator
- Teaching LRN 305
- And, and, and … let me just say it’s been a busy summer.
And oh yeah, I almost forgot! I have been working on my own learning in the Assessment Leadership Academy — all in context of these various projects and my day-to-day work.
I have to say that in moving in all of these directions, I am, in fact, having a pleasant elevation. Wanna know why? Because when I am engaged in this work, I am learning. And why? Because assessment is about learning. (Not to be redundant – but have I said that before? Like HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE?)
Megan Oakleaf, in a recent article about assessing value in academic libraries, said it too in regard to why assessment in libraries is important:
Value research means hard work: hard work conducting research, hard work reflecting on results, hard work fine-tuning existing services and resources, and hard work developing new ones. However, it is certain that not engaging in the value conversation puts academic libraries in an untenable situation. It is also certain that investigating and demonstrating library value is the right thing to do. Why? Because as librarians explore the value of library services and resources they provide, they learn. When librarians learn, they proactively deliver top-notch services and resources where they’re needed—to students completing their academic work; to faculty preparing publications, grant proposals, or tenure packages; to administrators seeking decision-making evidence. And when librarians deliver excellent services and resources, they make a difference for their users—they are valuable.
This summer has been all about learning — student learning, my learning, my colleagues’ learning, my institution’s learning — and making a difference (or at least trying to). And learning and making a difference are valuable. And *that’s* been my pleasant elevation for this summer (which has got to be way better than taking LSD in a field next to a Yoo-hoo beverage factory any old day).
(Not that I would know.)