Saturday, November 12, 2011

Institutional Context

Over at, there is a summary of a talk given by Sarah Pritchard at the last RMBS conference. Her talk was about the importance of aligning an academic library with its parent institution’s mission. (Not the “window dressing” bits but the core parts about student learning and faculty research.) 

ACRL’s new Standards for Libraries in Higher Education do a nice job of helping libraries strategically plan within their institutional contexts and demonstrate their contributions to institutional effectiveness.

For a good summary of the challenges facing higher education in general, see Anthony Grafton’s Our Universities: Why Are They Failing?” (The New York Review of Books), Here is a bit from his discussion of Academically Adrift:
those majoring in liberal arts fields—humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics—outperformed those studying business, communications, and other new, practical majors on the CLA. And at a time when libraries and classrooms across the country are being reconfigured to promote trendy forms of collaborative learning, students who spent the most time studying on their own outperformed those who worked mostly with others.
Update: Sarah Pritchard's talk is now available online.