In a time when search engines are empowering people to do their own research and economic conditions have made funding harder, the relevance of libraries are being questioned. To provide accurate research and knowledge about what is known and not known about libraries, The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has selected Assistant Professor Megan Oakleaf as lead researcher for its value of academic libraries project.

The primary goal of this project is to provide academic librarians with a clearer understanding of existing research on the performance of academic libraries, identify the gaps in this research, and develop the best strategies to raise library performance to fill in the gaps. The project also aims to reemphasize the value of academic libraries to their institutional leadership.

Oakleaf has been recognized by the ACRL as an expert in outcomes-based assessment and decision making, making her the ideal person to review the academic libraries existing research and developing new methods of research to reaccredit academic libraries to their institutions.

The ACRL is dedicated to enhancing the way academic libraries and librarians serve the information needs of the higher education community, as well as to improve learning, teaching, and research. ACRL is a division of the American Library Association, a professional association of academic librarians.

As an assistant professor in the iSchool, Oakleaf teaches Reference and Information Literacy Services and Planning, Marketing, and Assessing Library Services. Her research interests include outcomes based assessment, evidence-based decision making, information literacy instruction, information services, and digital librarianship.

Prior to joining the iSchool, Oakleaf served as Librarian for Instruction and Undergraduate Research at North Carolina State University. Oakleaf earned an MLS from Kent State University and also holds a BA in English and Spanish and a BS in English Education and Spanish Education from Miami University. She completed her dissertation entitled, “Assessing Information Literacy Skills: A Rubric Approach,” at the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.