ACADEMIC LIBRARY CONSULTANT
Aaron Cohen Associates, LTD follows a solid methodology to discover service strategies for academic libraries. This methodology remains valid even as technologies change. It begins with a three to six month planning schedule that starts with programming and conceptual planning workshops, and takes careful steps to deliver successful outcomes.
We believe it is important to anchor our study to the library’s mission and vision statements. Based upon them, we investigate the culture, students, faculty and campus that the library serves. Our goal is to focus upon the efficiency of student support, instruction, operations and research services, and their desired performance to support student success. We believe in the importance of stakeholder input, and the fostering of creative approaches that benefit the variety and diversity of the educational community that the academic library serves.
The following is a quick outline of our methodology.
- Understand the current situation. What is the academic library -- a social space, place for quiet research, etc. How do we build more responsive service in regards to tutoring support and management of e-resources? What has been identified in previous service planning activities, as well as in the studies and reports available?
- Understand the desired performance. How to streamline the library service in light of the present social, operational, organizational and economic/financial, e-resources, and the current trends such as the learning commons?
- Determine the gap. What are the breaches between current and desired outcomes? How can we determine what is an efficient library service that is flexible and responsive to current and future needs?
- Create a measurement framework. Do this by determining enablers and barriers to objectives. How can we measure realignment efforts and determine a formula for future growth?
Address the following key issues, including but not limited to:
- E-service delivery models.
- Academic Partners.
- Materials and equipment selection and acquisition.
- Best practices within the educational community.
- Best practices from outside the academic community.
- Funding sources (public and private).
- New sources for additional funding.
- Resource specialization and sharing of expertise.
- Formula for growth and change.
- Resource assessment of tutoring support, and areas where flexibility could be employed.
- Shared service points.
Establish “best practices” with recommendations.
- Identify opportunities to close gaps. The idea is to attain desired performance. Levels.
- Determine enablers and barriers to potential opportunities. How can we determine measurements that lead to a successful realignment effort?
- Detail findings in an feasibility report. This report contains “Opportunities to Improve Student Success,” and should be reviewed by the Library Committee,” Director, Library Managers – and as required, by staff, education officials, indeed, the academic community at large.
- Conduct additional analysis, as necessary, from a prioritized list contained in “Opportunities to Improve Student Success.”
- Identify future recommendations. How to prioritize future programming strengths of library and learning commons services?
- Identify GAPs between desired and future recommendations.
- Review and synthesize all analysis outputs. How can the final list of issues and recommendations be shared with the academic library community?
- Provide a Final Report. Also, provide a presentation, and question & answer session.