The Library Journal quoted Syracuse University School of Information Studies Associate Professor Megan Oakleaf in a summary of the 2011 ACRL conference held in Philadelphia, PA, entitled “ACRL 2011: Programs Stress Outcomes to Show Impact, Financial Value of Academic Values.”
Oakleaf, who authored the 2011 ACRL report on the value of academic libraries, sat on a panel “Value of Academic Libraries” which discussed ways for academic libraries to measure success not linked to cost-efficiency.
“[Library] use is not enough…The mantra is focus on outcome, not the dirt but the plant that grows from it,” Oakleaf said while on the panel.
Oakleaf’s co-panelist, Mary Ellen Davis agreed and said, “the relevance and usefulness and effectiveness of libraries are questioned more than ever…The library as the heart of the institution is no longer acknowledged. The library has gone from being a core value to a cost center, and the university has sent us the bill. That’s a big change and we have to get ready for that change.”
Oakleaf’s report, discussed at the panel focused on separating the focus of library effectiveness into financial value and impact value, emphasizing a shift from focusing on collections to staff-supported services with a great deal of value to users.
The ACRL is a division of the American Library Association focusing on enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research.
Professor Oakleaf joined the iSchool after completing 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. Previously, Megan was the Librarian for Instruction and Undergraduate Research at North Carolina State University. In this role, she designed, implemented, coordinated, and assessed the library instruction program.
Megan earned her 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. Prior to a career in librarianship, Megan taught language arts and advanced composition in public secondary schools, grades 8-12.