I came across the new Standards for Libraries in Higher Education (SLHE) drastically revised by the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Board of Directors this past October. The new standards aim to provide a roadmap that will assist academic libraries in responding effectively to the growing pressure to demonstrate their value through evidence based means.
“These standards differ from previous version[last revised in 2004] by articulating expectations for library contributions to institutional effectiveness […] They also differ structurally from the previous version by providing a comprehensive framework using an outcomes-based approach, with evidence collected in ways most appropriate for each institution.” – said University of Nevada-Las Vegas Dean of University Libraries Patricia Iannuzzi, who chaired the SLHE task force. They are based on the following nine principles:
Institutional Effectiveness: Libraries define, develop, and measure outcomes that contribute to institutional effectiveness and apply findings for purposes of continuous improvement.
Professional Values: Libraries advance professional values of intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights and values, user privacy and confidentiality, collaboration, and user-centered service.
Educational Role: Libraries partner in the educational mission of the institution to develop and support information-literate learners who can discover, access, and use information effectively for academic success, research, and lifelong learning.
Discovery: Libraries enable users to discover information in all formats through effective use of technology and organization of knowledge.
Collections: Libraries provide access to collections sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the institution.
Space: Libraries are the intellectual commons where users interact with ideas in both physical and virtual environments to expand learning and facilitate the creation of new knowledge.
Management/Administration: Libraries engage in continuous planning and assessment to inform resource allocation and to meet their mission effectively and efficiently.
Personnel: Libraries provide sufficient number and quality of personnel to ensure excellence and to function successfully in an environment of continuous change.
External Relations: Libraries engage the campus and broader community through multiple strategies in order to advocate, educate, and promote their value. (See the document to read more).