Association of Research Libraries

University of Washington Libraries

Library Assessment Conference

Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment

2018 Library Assessment Conference
Houston, Texas
December 5–7, 2018

2012 Plenary Sessions

Monday, October 29th

John Lombardi, American university professor and administrator

Living in the Cloud: Who Owns It, Who Pays for It, Who Keeps It Safe, and Will My Kids Inherit the Wind?

The inexorable flight to electronic resources, remote and dark storage, access rather than ownership, and the dramatic realignment of budget, influence, and authority that these transformations impose leave libraries and librarians in search of their future. In what often seems to be a swirling fog of proposals, projections, and projects, definitive guidance through this uncertain time remains unavailable. Although many offer attractive designs for the future, some pragmatic principles for action and recommendations for inaction may prove more useful. Drawing on long historical personal experience with libraries and librarians, "Living in the Cloud" will offer some solace and perspective, if not accurate predictions, for coping with the present and preparing for the future.

John Simon, Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Virginia and the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Chemistry

Dollars and Sense: the New Financial Realities of Higher Education

Judith Eaton, President, Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Higher Education in a New Era of Public Accountability. What Does This Mean for You?

Colleges, universities and programs have been engaged in “assessment movement” for more than 25 years. We have created and implemented assessment plans, responded to accreditors’ calls for assessment and point with pride to our assessment work as vital in the ongoing quest to sustain and enhance academic quality. Yet, especially since the report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education in 2006, we have been in the midst of persistent and sometimes critical calls for greater public accountability for quality from government, media and policy leaders. The message here is that, while higher education’s work in assessment is duly acknowledged, it is not sufficiently responsive to today’s environment in which greater transparency, reliable evidence of student achievement and clear and readily accessible information about our performance have taken center stage. What needs to be done to assure that we are publicly accountable going forward? How do we provide leadership here? How do we demonstrate value in the future?

Tuesday, October 30th

Siva Vaidyanathan, Robertson Professor and the Chair of the Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia

Library Assessment and Big Data: The need for Ethical, Legal and Philosophical Analysis

While the benefits of the scientific and information communities making a bold step toward facilitating “Big Data” research in the natural and technical sciences are clear, the "human sciences" offer a unique opportunity to fuse the study of the law, policy, and ethics surrounding the collection, preservation, indexing, analysis, and dissemination of data sets. Questions about privacy and intellectual policy implications of Big Data research are complicated and demand input and deliberation among many different types of scholars. Even more interesting, Big Data offers us an opportunity to examine the very nature of knowledge both historically and instrumentally. As universities, foundations, and federal agencies increase funding opportunities for Big Data research, each initiative should be bound to a research project examining the cultural, intellectual, and societal implications of such work.

To see keynotes from past conferences, please visit Past Proceedings.