Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Call for Chapter Proposals - The Library Assessment Cookbook (Deadline 8/15/15)

Call for Chapter Proposals - 
The Library Assessment Cookbook (Deadline 8/6/15)

The Library Assessment Cookbook

Editor - Aaron W Dobbs

Send proposals to: Aaron Dobbs aaron at 


Happy August!
Please feel free to share this extended call with lists you feel are relevant

I've made a quick scan of recipes proposed so far and see several assessment areas which could use additional assessment project recipe ideas.

The following proposed sections have received recipe proposals between "not enough to fill up the section" to "less than one"(and I'd like to include these sections, plus any you'd like to propose that aren't already listed)

If you work with any of the following, please propose an assessment recipe:

* Outreach 
* Website / Webservices
* Database products (contents or interfaces or other)
* Personnel (reviews, etc.)
* Strategic Planning (writ large or small)
* Service Points (Ref, Circ, Archives, Periodicals, Triage, etc.)

Plus, if you have a proposal for other assessment topics, I miscalculated the original deadline date (I forgot I will be offline August 7-11 on a canoe trip on the Susquehanna river) so if you're debating any additional recipe proposals you've got about 5-10 extra days to write it/them up :)

Please send me your proposed Assessment Recipes by August 15th & profuse thank yous to the ~50 or so people who have proposed recipes to date!


ACRL has approved Aaron’s proposal to create a Library Assessment Cookbook. Depending on the number and variety of proposals, there will be 5 to 7 sections of 5 to 10 recipes each which describe achievable library assessment projects.

Working Book Title: The Library Assessment Cookbook: 50+ recipes for effective assessment. Edited by Aaron W Dobbs (Chicago: ACRL, Spring 2016) (proposal process at end of page)

The goal of this cookbook is to offer practical projects with suggestions for measurable, useable, useful assessment projects. Many libraries have no idea what to assess or what can be assessed. This cookbook will offer hopefully useful ideas and options for library assessment projects. The ultimate goal is a cookbook which any librarian or library administrator can flip open, select a recipe, and adapt a project for their local situation.

In addition to summarizing why assessment of library services, resources, collections, etc. is important, this cookbook depends on Assessment Chefs proposing and providing tested, workable project plans which can make assessment easier for librarians and more useful for stakeholders.

Recipes focusing less on input measures, more on output measures, and especially on outcome measures will receive extra weight. CLIR Publication 105 Appendix D has a nice overview of library input, output, and outcome measures.

Recipes proposed will guide the development of the sections, with a loose initial organization as follows:

  • Introduction to Library Assessment
  • What it comprises
  • Why it is so important
  • What areas can be assessed
  • Including broad Literature Review covering the topics above
Five to Ten Sections of five to ten recipes (three to five pages per recpie)
(introductions for each section including re-summarizing introduction for each section with additional lit review and strategies for incorporating these assessments into planning and reporting processes)

  • Collection Assessment
  • Instruction Assessment
  • Outreach Assessment
  • Personnel Assessment 
  • Space Assessment
  • Strategic Planning Assessment 
  • Etc. (additional areas dependent on recipes proposed)
  • Summary of Library Assessment
  • How to frame assessment measures for planning
  • How to frame assessment measures for reporting
  • Working with stakeholders to identify appropriate measures
If you are interested in proposing a recipe (or several recipes), the final recipe format will be something like the following:

  • Recipe Title
  • Your Name, Affiliation, and E-mail
  • Potential Cookbook Category (if it’s not listed suggest one)
  • Occasion
  • Assessment Goal/Purpose
  • Main Ingredients (Data Collection Tasks, Equipment, Supplies, etc)
  • Preparation (Data, Background)
  • The Assessment Itself
  • Main Assessment Technique
  • Discipline/Resource/Service/Subject/Topic/etc. assessed
  • Length of project (time required to crunch the numbers and length of resulting report, if any)
  • Audience (for whom are you preparing this assessment)
  • Display (effective framing of results)

ALA Information/Library Dietary Standards Addressed (see Standards for Libraries from ACRL, for examples, but don't feel limited to just these if you have more, or different, standards for your library)

  • Cautions
  • Reaction/Reflection
  • Preparatory Resources/Useful Worksheets
  • Representative Sample (Example Results)
If you would like to introduce or summarize a particular section where you have had good experience, please email Aaron (aaron at with your background in that assessment area and outline what you would like to convey in your introduction or summary.

To recap the recipe proposal process:

Recipe Proposals Deadline: due by 8/15/15

Name & Contact Information

Quick Summary of Assessment Experience Related to Recipe

Proposed Recipe Title, Outline, & a couple paragraphs describing the project and its uses

Recipe Acceptance Notification: 8/20/15

Completed Recipes : due from Authors: 10/15/15 (earlier is fine)

Send Proposals to –

Email your proposals (in an attachment, preferably) to Aaron Dobbs by August 6, 2015. If your proposal is accepted, the final recipe will need to be submitted (tentatively) by October 15, 2015. My challenge is to have the Library Instruction Cookbook available by ALA Midwinter 2016. My more realistic goal is to have the cookbook available by ALA Annual 2016.

Please email me with any questions!

-Aaron W. Dobbs, Scholarly Communications & Electronic Resources Librarian, Shippensburg University of PA, aaron at