A new ACRL report provides compelling evidence for the contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success. The report focuses on outcomes from projects conducted as part of the Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) program. Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports from the AiA work, the report identifies positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas:
” 1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them acquire a common set of competencies for their undergraduate studies.
2. Library use increases student success. The analysis of multiple data points (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) shows that students who use the library in some way achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.
3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).
4. Information literacy instruction strengthens GenEd outcomes. Several AiA projects document that libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.”