School of Information Studies (iSchool) Associate Professor Megan Oakleaf will be presenting at two panel sessions, a poster session, and appearing on a roundtable discussion panel at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference when it takes place in Baltimore this week. 

The first panel session is entitled Closing the ‘Data Gap’ Between Libraries and Learning: The Future of Academic Library Value Creation, Demonstration, and Communication and will discuss the linking of library data to institution-level data and the adoption of interoperability standards that could allow library data to be integrated with campus systems. Joining Oakleaf on the panel are Malcolm Brown, Director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, Scott Walter, University Librarian at DePaul University, and Mark Leuba, Vice President, Product Management at IMS Global Learning Consortium.

The second panel Oakleaf is participating on, Data in the Library is Safe, But That’s Not What Data is Meant For, explores the ethical use of data to discover correlations between library interactions and student success. Panel participants will address the benefits, challenges, and best practices of correlation studies, and discuss the future of this research area, including institutional partnerships and learning analytics initiatives. In addition to Oakleaf, panel participants include Jan Fransen, Service Lead for Researcher and Discovery Systems at the University of Minnesota, Shane Nackerud, Technology Lead for Libraries Initiatives at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Kate Peterson, Undergraduate Services Librarian at the University of Minnesota, Ross MacIntyre, Head Library Analytics Services, JISC, and Dennis Krieb, Director of Institutional Research and Library Services at Lewis and Clark Community College. 

At the conference’s poster session, Oakleaf will display her research poster, 3,000 Library Users Can’t Be Wrong: Using One Open-Ended Survey Question to Demonstrate Your Library’s Value. Oakleaf and her research partners show how one large research library leveraged an open-ended survey question to elicit faculty and student stories about the difference the library made in their academic lives. Oakleaf’s research partners are Jackie Belanger, Assessment Librarian, and Maggie Faber, Data Visualization and Analysis Librarian, both from the University of Washington.

Oakleaf and Scott Walter, University Librarian at DePaul University, and Debbie Malone, Library Directo at DeSales University will host a roundtable discussion on Friday morning, exploring the advantages, opportunities, and challenges of using learning analytics as a tool to augment the value proposition of libraries.

Oakleaf’s research areas at the iSchool include assessment, evidence-based decision making, information literacy instruction, and reference services. Prior to her time at Syracuse she served as Librarian for Instruction and Undergraduate Research at NC State University and as a teacher in Ohio public schools. She is the author of ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Comprehensive Review and Report, and has published in top library and information science journals including College and Research LibrariesPortalJASIST, and Journal of Documentation. She won the 2011 Ilene Rockman Publication of the Year award, was included in the LIRT Top 20 Instruction Articles five times, earned Best Paper recognition at the 2007 EBLIP conference, and was awarded the 2014 Jeffrey Katzer Teacher of the Year award at the iSchool.

The ACRL, a division of the American Library Association, is the higher education association for librarians. It represents more than 11,000 academic and research librarians, and develops programs, products and services to help them learn, innovate and lead within the academic community.