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October 8, 2020

Indications of the New Normal

A (Farewell) Fall 2020 Update from the Academic Library Response to COVID-19 Survey

This is the fourth and final analysis of results from the Academic Library Response to COVID-19 survey, which we deployed on March 11 in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. Libraries were encouraged to not only log their current status but to also come back to retake the survey as circumstances evolved.  In past posts, we have presented an analysis…
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October 6, 2020

Ithaka S+R Is Hiring

Two New Analyst Job Openings

Are you passionate about higher education and the arts? Our work helps these organizations and their support providers—including libraries, publishers, scholarly societies, and museums— enhance scholarship, instruction, community engagement, and student success. Ithaka S+R is hiring for two new positions that will work on some of our most exciting research and advisory projects. Both roles will work collaboratively on research projects that lead to publications including grant-funded research…
July 14, 2020

Now Available: Fall Semester COVID-19 Surveys

While the challenges colleges and universities faced in the spring semester were unprecedented, it’s clear that the disruptions are far from over. Even as the fall semester approaches, institutions are still deciding how many students to bring back to campus and how to deliver instruction effectively. Over the past few months, we have partnered with over 20 colleges and universities to provide actionable insights on student and faculty needs…
June 25, 2020

COVID-19 and the Student Experience

Reporting Large-Scale Results from the Spring Semester

Today we release results from a large-scale study of student experiences during the spring term. The findings, which represent the experiences and needs of over 15,000 students, provide us with an understanding of the challenges that students—and in turn, their faculty, administrators, and institutions more broadly—have faced as we now approach a new year of instruction. While these results should not be interpreted to represent perceptions of online learning that occur outside of the context…
May 26, 2020

Measuring What Matters

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in Academic Library Strategic Plans 

Equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility have become buzzwords across the higher education sector with leaders at many institutions asserting these as strategic priorities and key values. In our most recent national survey of US academic library directors, conducted in fall 2019, we included new coverage of these important topics. And, now, as we face an academic year that will likely be shaped by budget cuts and re-prioritization, we wonder about the degree to…
May 12, 2020

Leading the Library by Looking Beyond the Library

Library directors face a number of leadership dilemmas. Rising from the ranks, many feel the pull—or the need, given resource constraints—to work shoulder-to-shoulder with front-line employees as a “member of the team.” At the same time, many feel the need to engage with non-library constituencies across the campus and beyond in ways that take them out of the library. Which of these leadership models best positions the library for success? Last month, we released findings from our national survey…
May 8, 2020

Assessment Across Higher Ed

Join Us for a Webinar on May 13

Over the last few months, all units on campus have needed to plan in unprecedented ways for how best to support students, faculty, and other communities in response to the pandemic. As the activities related to teaching, learning, and research continue remotely during the spring term amid incredibly challenging circumstances, understanding the barriers students and faculty face has become more important than ever. Assessing and addressing community needs is also important for developing  appropriate supports for these communities…
April 29, 2020

Announcing the COVID-19 Faculty Survey

Available for Implementation May-June

Throughout the spring term, faculty across the country had to swiftly transition from in-person to remote instruction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the term comes to a close, what can institutions learn from their experiences as they begin planning for the fall? We have partnered over the past month with dozens of colleges and universities to provide much needed student survey data in real time to inform intervention, retention, and…
April 28, 2020

Five strategies for humanely conducting surveys in higher ed during a global crisis

The world has changed drastically in the last few months and so have the challenges that are facing our communities. Decision-making informed by evidence, gathered and acted upon quickly, is as important—if not more important—than it has ever been for higher education leaders. These are not normal circumstances for conducting research, let alone working or living. Under normal circumstances, my colleagues and I might start the development of a major survey by building an advisory board…
March 31, 2020

COVID-19 and Higher Education

Announcing a New Survey of Students to begin in April

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across the country are grappling with many challenges, including moving instruction online, ensuring that students are supported holistically, and beginning to forecast retention. To provide the real-time information needed by institutional leaders, Ithaka S+R is launching a new survey of students to enable institutions to swiftly address these crucial issues. In an effort to be as responsive as possible to community needs, we are prepared to…
March 24, 2020

First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19

This is the third analysis of results from the Academic Library Response to COVID19 survey, which we deployed on March 11 in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. Libraries were encouraged to not only log their current status but to also come back to retake the survey as circumstances evolved. The first update was received that same day at 11 pm, illustrating just how quickly things have been…
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March 15, 2020

Academic Library Strategies Shift to Closure and Restriction

The Next 48 Hours of Academic Library Response to COVID19 

For the most recent findings see First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19 On Wednesday, March 11, at 8:00 pm ET, we deployed the “Academic Library Response to COVID19” survey in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. On Friday we presented our analysis of the first 24 hours of responses (n=213). Today we…
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March 13, 2020

Academic Library Response to COVID19

The First 24 Hours of Survey Data

For the most recent findings see First This, Now That: A Look at 10-Day Trends in Academic Library Response to COVID19 On Wednesday, March 11, at 8:00 pm ET, we deployed the “Academic Library Response to COVID19” survey in order to gather as-it-happens data from and for the academic library community. Today we are sharing a summary of the responses from the 213 libraries that responded in the first 24 hours. …
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February 11, 2020

The Case for Academic Libraries and “College Fluency”

Students struggle with a variety of challenges outside of the classroom that affect their academic success–balancing family, household, work, and school responsibilities, having enough money to pay for courses and basic needs, and navigating college resources and services. When presented via survey with a series of possible interventions to address these needs, students expressed great interest in having more support in navigating information related to the college experience, as described in this service…
January 8, 2020

Quiet Spaces, Kids On Campus, and Academic Libraries

College students often crave quiet space for completing their coursework. Many have complex lives with various professional, personal, and academic demands — long commutes, multiple jobs, roommates, children, etc. The campus library is a place — and sometimes the only place — they can go for quiet, distraction-free space. It can be their respite from an otherwise noisy set of activities. Over the weekend,…
December 10, 2019

Perspectives on the 2018 US Faculty Survey in Against the Grain

Every three years when we release findings from our national faculty surveys, we receive a plethora of reactions and responses to the results. There was no exception when we released the 2018 results in conjunction with the ACRL conference in April 2019. While these high-level quantitative results offer strong evidence toward understanding faculty practices and perspectives, particularly for tracking change over time, many who work in academic libraries, learned societies, and…
November 21, 2019

Increasing Awareness of Basic Needs

Holistic Measures of Student Success for Community College Leaders

Higher education institutions typically use quantitative metrics like year-to-year retention rates, graduation rates, and post-secondary outcomes to measure student success. Most, if not all, institutions are required to report these data to government, regulatory, and accreditation agencies, and use them for benchmarking and measuring progress towards goals. To date, however, the student perspective of what success means — and what barriers stand in the way of achieving it — has often been omitted from these practices. Our research with seven…
November 6, 2019

A Methodology for Testing Service Concepts

New Issue Brief

As academic libraries continue to evolve beyond a focus on collections, their leaders have long recognized the importance of developing new services that add value for learners, instructors, researchers, and other stakeholders. Sometimes, the demand for new services is self-evident, but in other cases the library must develop services speculatively and in a competitive environment. In these cases, planning and assessment tools can be of tremendous value in allowing library leaders to focus their new service initiatives most…
October 24, 2019

How to Survey Community College Students

New Report Now Available

Last month, we published a report based on the findings of a survey of over 10,000 students at seven community colleges. While the project itself is aimed at better understanding the needs, goals, and challenges of students, and assessing demand for a number of services that might support their success, a helpful byproduct of this research is what we have uncovered in administering a survey to this population. Today we are publishing…
October 16, 2019

Why we are adding a basic needs module to the Ithaka S+R local surveys

Students often struggle with balancing their personal, professional, and academic responsibilities, including affording their most basic needs in conjunction with course expenses. Recognizing this reality, we will be offering a basic needs module for the Ithaka S+R local student surveys starting in spring 2020. In late 2018, colleagues and I worked in partnership with a cohort of community colleges to survey their students about their goals and challenges.