May 28, 2022

Preprint: “Bridges and Barriers: Factors Influencing a Culture of Assessment in Academic Libraries”

The following article (preprint), recently approved for publication, is scheduled to appear in the March 2015 issue of College & Research Libraries (C&RL).


Bridges and Barriers: Factors Influencing a Culture of Assessment in Academic Libraries


Meredith Gorran Farkas
Portland State University

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Amy Harris Houk
University of North Carolina, Greensboro


College & Research Libraries (C&RL)/ACRL


In an environment in which libraries need to demonstrate value, illustrating how the library contributes to student learning is critical. Gathering and analyzing data in order to tell the library’s story as well as identify areas for improvement require commitment, time, effort, and resources – all components of a culture of assessment. This paper presents the results of a survey designed to understand what factors facilitate the development of a culture of assessment of student learning in academic libraries and what factors may hinder it.

Unlike previous research in this area, which has focused on case studies and surveys with nonrepresentative samples, the authors conducted a systematic survey of academic libraries at four-year institutions in the United States and achieved a 42% response rate. The results suggest certain factors are highly associated with a culture of assessment and provide guidance to administrators and front-line librarians working to build such a culture.

Direct to Full Text Article (Preprint)
4 pages; PDF.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.