I had the honor of serving as President of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2010-2011. As a division president, I worked closely with Mary Ellen Davis (ACRL Executive Director), the ACRL Board of Directors, Roberta Stevens (who was ALA President that year), all of the other division presidents, and many other ALA and ACRL staff. That experience was very formative of how I think about the role of the ALA President and the priorities that I highlight in my Candidate Statement.
It was a very busy and productive year. There is a detailed annual report online but I thought I might also share some of the highlights:
- We launched the Value of Academic Libraries Initiative with the publication of the freely available report Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report. ACRL was also awarded an IMLS Collaborative Planning Grant for Building Capacity for Demonstrating the Value of Academic Libraries, which led to a successful application for an IMLS National Leadership Demonstration Grant to create the Assessment in Action program.
- We developed and adopted ACRL’s Plan for Excellence as a strategic framework for the association focused on value, student learning, and the research/scholarly environment. More than 1000 members participated in the process. We also streamlined complementary operations and financial planning processes for education, advocacy, and member engagement and created reporting templates for monitoring the association’s progress and achievement.
- We transitioned ACRL’s scholarly journal College & Research Libraries to an open access model in order to better serve the library community and to model open dissemination practices for academia.
- We launched ACRLMetrics, an online data service providing access to ACRL and NCES academic library statistics (2000 to present), to support libraries in analyzing trends, benchmarking, and visualizing data.
- We hosted the ACRL 2011 Conference with more than 5,300 participants. All of the papers are freely available online.
- We reviewed the ACRL committee structure and revised all of the committee charges and membership guidelines.
We could accomplish so much because of the generosity of ACRL members in contributing their time and effort to our collective work. It was an honor to lead the association as President and to support the community in achieving so much, which included ensuring that groups had the resources that they needed and doing everything possible to remove barriers and obstacles when they appeared.