Charleston conference: The punishment for dreamers: big data, retention, and academic libraries

Background resources regarding academic libraries

Murray State Study

  • data elements
    • checking out an item
    • logging into library computer lab
    • logging into e-resources
    • logging into ILLIAD
    • participate in instruction
    • enrollment in credit-bearing information literacy course


  • library users are 2x as likely to be retained as non-users
  • checking out items increased likelihood of retention by 36%
  • logging into e-resources later in the semester increased odds of retention by 24%

Second study of library deans about ways library collections, library instruction, and library facilities were aligned with high-impact practices

  • library instruction = high correlation wtih learning communities and collaborative assignments
  • library facilities = high correlation with diversity and global learning
  • collaborative assignments = correlation with all of the library components
  • while we are doing these things, we are NOT documenting this impact, few knew how to document, few could communicate beyond the Annual Report, continued overreliance on student learning outcomes as an indirect measure of impact

Key take-aways

  • enough with indirect measures
    • what do door counts mean?
  • conduct an assessment audit to align data, outcomes, and institutional priorities
  • develop visualizations of your different services/resources, assessment strategies, and their connections to outcomes and institutional priorities
  • stop confusing student learning outcomes with measures of retention or graduation
  • instruction is a gateway to library use

Other areas of work

  • restructure student worker lines to internships (with credit) for higher levels of engagement


On a small scale example, is there a relationship between anatomy resource use and anatomy course performance?

OMG this could also totally help/influence my research leave project


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