Inaugural Meeting: 29 January 2016– Assessment, Retention and the Academic Library


Friday, the 29th of January, marked the inaugural  meeting of the LAST Professional Reading Club.  The first two articles we selected (as they appeared to relate to the new Education Strategy) were:

Murray, A.(2015) “Academic Libraries and High-Impact Practices for Student Retention: Library Deans’ Perspectives,” portal: Libraries and the Academy. 15(3), 471-487. The Johns Hopkins University Press. ( )

MacAyeal, G. (2014) “A culture of assessment: Five mindsets,” College and Research Libraries News. June (75) pp.311-312 ( )

A lively discussion took place, with most of our focus being on the Murray article and how it could apply to the work we were doing and in which areas we might wish to further explore. We discussed at length the idea of high-impact practices (HIPs) and their alignment with the various activities performed by the Academic Support Team and in Skills for Learning.  We were particularly interested in the strong correlation of learning communities (HIP 3) and library instruction; as a result, we decided that we would explore the ideas of communities of practice and of librarians as researchers at a future meeting.

Less discussion took place around the MacAyeal paper, mostly due to the fact that it was a short case study written by a practitioner.  However, the group did like the framework provided within the article and discussed how we might incorporate the suggestions within to inform the creation of our reports (particularly annual reports and our impact report) in order to link our anecdotal  observations with evidence-based practice/research.

At the conclusion of the meeting, those in attendance felt that the process was beneficial and that the club should try to meet at least once a month.  It was decided that the next readings would be around the theme of librarians as researchers and would take place on a Wednesday near the end of February.


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