C&RL Spotlight

Scott Walter


Last month, ACRL’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (ILCSHE) Task Force released the initial draft of the “Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education” for review and discussion. The Framework presents information literacy instruction and assessment within the broader context of the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education and suggests important new avenues for research in our field. Look for a guest editorial in the May 2014 issue of College & Research Libraries by ILCSHE Task Force Cochairs Craig Gibson and Trudi E. Jacobson exploring the research base for the new Framework as well as the directions it sets for ongoing research in information literacy instruction and assessment in higher education.

Assessment is also the focus for this month’s C&RL Online Forum, a recently-launched program, which connects authors and editors with readers through our social media platforms. The fora extend the discussion of research published (or to be published) in the journal. The inaugural forum was conducted in December 2013 and focused on a forthcoming study of academic mentoring by Marni R. Harrington and Elizabeth Marshall, both of the University of Western Ontario.

This month, we draw your attention to a forthcoming study by Meredith Gorran Farkas (Portland State University), Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Amy Harris Houk (University of North Carolina-Greensboro) that explores the “culture of assessment” in academic libraries and the factors that influence (or discourage) its development and its adoption by library faculty and staff.

Assessment of student learning has been a strategic concern for ACRL for several years (and is certainly embedded in the “Framework for Information Literacy in Education”), but this is the first study to identify factors promoting the development of a culture of assessment of student learning across institutions based on a survey of four-year institutions across the United States. Join the authors online this month to discuss what they have found promotes the acceptance of assessment of student learning as “a core part of what the library does,” and bring your questions about how to encourage the development of a culture of assessment in your library.

To read the Harrington and Marshall study or the Farkas, Hinchliffe, and Houk study, visit the C&RL preprints page at http://crl. acrl.org/content/early/recent. To register to attend the C&RL Online Forum (or to view recorded forum programs), visit the C&RL Online Fora page at http://crl.acrl.org/site/misc/fora.xhtml. And, of course, preprints and other C&RL programs are regularly featured on Facebook (https://www.facebook. com/collegeandresearchlibraries) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CRL_ACRL). If you have an idea for a future Forum program, please contact C&RL Social Media Editor Sarah Steiner at e-mail: E-mail: .

And, while C&RL continues to look forward with its upcoming issues and upcoming programs, we are also dedicating time this year to look back. In March 2015, C&RL will publish a special issue considering its role in the 75-year history of ACRL in supporting and disseminating scholarship documenting (and improving) our work in academic and research libraries. In this special issue, we will present seven “landmark” essays from the history of the journal, as well as newly commissioned companion pieces exploring the enduring relevance of these essays for our current work and for the future of academic librarianship. Even as you read this, a survey is available that asks you to select your “Top 6” from a list of 30 essays published in the journal between 1939 and 2013. These 30 “semi-finalists” being considered for inclusion in the 75th anniversary special issue were selected by members of the C&RL Editorial Board, as well as by several former editors of the journal, including Richard M. Dougherty (1969–74), Charles Martell (1984–90), Gloriana St. Clair (1990–96), and William Gray Potter (2002–08). The full text of all 30 nominated articles (as well as every other article we’ve ever published) is available through the C&RL Web site, and I encourage you to look back at what authors like Fred Kilgour, Robert Downs, Constance Mellon, David Lewis, and Mark Winston have brought to our work through arguments advanced through their articles in C&RL. More information about the 75th anniversary special issue and your opportunity to select your Top 6 from among our semi-finalists can be found at www.ala.org/acrl/publications/crl75.

But, wait, there’s more! You may have noticed that we plan to publish seven articles (and companion essays) in the 75th anniversary special issue, but our survey only asks for your Top 6. That is because you will select the final article to be included in the special issue. After you select your Top 6 from the 30 semi-finalists selected by C&RL editors, you will be able to make your own nomination for the people’s choice. In casting your vote for the people’s choice, we ask you to consider the following questions:

  • Did this article identify a critical issue that would shape the future of the field, or was it representative of a critical discussion in the field at the time of publication?
  • Did this article contribute to an enduring concern in the field that is still represented in the strategic directions of the association, or did it help to launch a new strategic direction?
  • Did this article represent the level of excellence in research design or discussion that should be promoted in our journal?
  • Was this article simply important to you, a C&RL reader, in shaping your own work?

The article that receives the most votes in the people’s choice category will join the other six top vote-getters in the survey to make up the 75th anniversary special issue. The issue will be published in March 2015 and discussed at the ACRL 2015 in Portland as part of the yearlong celebration of ACRL’s 75th anniversary.

A link to the 75th anniversary special issue survey, along with a list of articles, is available at www.ala.org/acrl/publications/crl75. Voting is open through April 30, 2014. Vote once, vote well, and come to Portland to discuss the past and future of academic library research published in College & Research Libraries!

Copyright 2014© American Library Association

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