The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the final report for its Research Library Impact Framework (RLIF) pilot initiative. The report, entitled 'Building a Community of Assessment,' outlines the framework's purpose, research projects, findings, and lessons learned during the pilot phase. It also includes information about the framework itself, which was designed to explore and learn about research library impacts across four critical areas: Research and Scholarly Life Cycle, Teaching, Learning, and Student Success, Collections, and Physical Space.
The RLIF is a flexible and modular tool that allows for modifications and adjustments based on salient issues facing research libraries. The framework serves as a structure to examine library services, operations, impact, and alignment with institutional mission and goals. The full framework includes 185 potential research questions across the four critical areas.
During the pilot implementation of the RLIF, the Assessment Committee (now the Research and Analytics Committee) identified five high-priority research questions that several research teams examined. These questions were intended to help ARL members understand and articulate research library impacts through narratives set in their local context.
The RLIF initiative set out four goals to guide its strategy and implementation, which extend beyond any research project. The goals include creating and fostering a culture of assessment, enhancing and improving processes for identifying data points, expanding abilities to collaborate and compare data and methods with peers, and improving the impact of services and programs for users.
The RLIF pilot initiative was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). ARL's Research and Analytics Committee will review the RLIF pilot and final report and issue recommendations about the future of the initiative in alignment with ARL's Action Plan 2023-2026.
The RLIF pilot initiative represents a significant step forward in exploring and understanding the impact of research libraries. The framework provides a structure for libraries to prioritize research efforts and articulate their impact in their local context. The final report and framework are valuable resources for anyone interested in assessing research library impacts.Click here to read the original press release.
Results/findings from research reports
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